S. 3119 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 that threaten species of salmon and other fish listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act in the Columbia River and its tributaries. NOAA would be required to ensure that the permitted entities kill no more than a combined total of 10 percent of the maximum number of sea lions that NOAA estimates could be killed (not including natural mortality) while still allowing each sea lion group to reach or maintain its optimum sustainable population. The bill also would direct NOAA to complete a report on the effectiveness of the permitting program in helping endangered salmon stocks recover.
Under current law, NOAA has the authority to issue permits to kill certain marine mammals that threaten other species. Using information from the agency, CBO estimates that giving NOAA the authority to issue such permits would have no significant effect on the federal budget. Enacting S. 3119 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 2029.
S. 3119 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
On August 10, 2017, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 2083, the Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act, as ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on July 26, 2017. The two pieces of legislation are similar and CBO’s estimates of their costs are the same.