S. 2372 would require the Department of State, in conjunction with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), to coordinate the federal government’s efforts to reduce pollution from solid materials such as plastics in the world’s oceans. Such pollutants are called marine debris. Several federal agencies, including the department, USAID, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encourage foreign countries and international organizations to reduce marine debris and implement waste management, recycling, and public-education programs in those countries.
The bill would require federal agencies to focus their efforts on rapidly developing countries and riverine and coastal areas that are major sources of debris. Agencies also would be required to measure the success of those efforts against tangible targets. Using information from several federal agencies about their ongoing efforts, CBO expects that some of the bill’s requirements would be met through existing programs.
USAID and the Department of State have provided international assistance of roughly $10 million each year to reduce marine debris, primarily in Asia. CBO estimates that replicating those efforts in Latin American and African countries would require additional appropriations of $20 million annually and cost $46 million over the 2020-2024 period.