H.R. 4275 would authorize the appropriation of $20 million annually over the 2020-2024 period for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Lake Pontchartarin Basin Restoration Program. That program provides grants and technical assistance for projects that have been identified in a management plan approved under the EPA’s National Estuary Program to improve the ecological health of the basin. In 2019, EPA received appropriations totaling $1 million to carry out the program. The bill also would require EPA to ensure the basin’s management plan is revised at least every five years, expand the geographic definition of the basin, and allow EPA to use up to 5 percent of the appropriated funds to administer the program.
Assuming appropriation of the specified amounts and based on spending patterns for similar programs, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost $89 million over the 2020-2024 period and $11 million after 2024. The costs of the legislation, detailed in Table 1, fall within budget function 300 (natural resources and environment).