S. 1342 would direct the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to update the environmental sensitivity index (ESI) maps for the Great Lakes’ coastal areas. Under the bill, NOAA would be required to update those maps every seven years. ESI maps provide a concise summary of coastal resources that are at risk if an oil spill occurs nearby. The information provided by those maps allows NOAA to establish protection priorities and identify cleanup strategies for locations vulnerable to substantial environmental damage from oil spills. In 2019, no funds were allocated for ESI mapping.
Using information from NOAA, CBO estimates that updating those ESI maps would take about three years and would require approximately seven additional employees at an average annual cost of $100,000 and would total $2 million over the 2020-2024 period. Any spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.