H.R. 564 would amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to authorize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to issue permits that would allow states and tribal entities in the Northwest United States to kill sea lions in the Columbia River and its tributaries under certain circumstances. Each permit would allow up to 10 sea lions a year to be removed from populations that threaten species of salmon and other fish listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Under the bill, individuals granted permits to kill sea lions would need to be trained in wildlife management.
Under current law, NOAA has the authority to issue permits to kill certain marine mammals that threaten other species. Based on information from the agency, CBO estimates that giving NOAA the authority to issue such permits would have a negligible effect on the federal budget. Enacting H.R. 564 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
CBO estimates that enacting that legislation would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.
H.R. 546 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. The bill would authorize the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, along with several tribal governments, to use lethal force against sea lion predation of important Northwest fish resources.