H.R. 496 would direct the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to study the causes of sinkholes and to develop maps depicting the areas most at risk of developing sinkholes. The bill also would require the USGS to review those maps every five years, update them as necessary, and publish them online.
Using information from USGS about the cost of completing similar mapping activities and accounting for additional costs associated with creating and maintaining a public website and database for those maps and other information, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 496 would cost $4 million over the 2020-2025 period. Such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.