S. 486, Preserving Public Access to Cape Hatteras Beaches Act

Cost Estimate
July 12, 2013

As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on June 18, 2013

S. 486 would require modifications to the management of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina. Under the bill, the Secretary of the Interior would review and modify wildlife buffers on the seashore to cover the smallest area necessary. S. 486 also would require the Secretary to construct new vehicle access points to the seashore. The National Park Service (NPS) would be directed to conduct a public process to consider modifications to the existing management plan for the seashore.

Based on information provided by the NPS, CBO estimates that implementing S. 486 would cost about $6 million over the 2014-2018 period, assuming the availability of appropriated funds. That amount includes an estimated increase in administrative costs of $1 million annually to monitor wildlife buffer areas and $1 million to prepare and implement a modified management plan. The NPS is currently constructing new vehicle-access points at the seashore, so implementing that provision of S. 486 would have no additional cost. Pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply to this legislation because it would not affect direct spending or revenues.

S. 486 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.

On May 31, 2013, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 819, the Preserving Access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area Act, as ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on May 15, 2013. H.R. 819 would require the seashore’s management plan to revert back to the Interim Strategy, which was issued in 2007. In contrast, S. 486 would require the Secretary to undertake a public process to determine how to modify the current management plan. The CBO cost estimates reflect those differences.