H.R. 1144 would authorize the appropriation of $50 million annually over the 2022-2026 period for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish and operate the Puget Sound Recovery National Program Office. The office would coordinate EPA activities to support the restoration and protection of the Puget Sound, provide grants and technical assistance for projects, and conduct research. Under the bill, the office would establish a task force composed of several federal agencies that would develop a federal action plan to support the recovery and ecological health of the Puget Sound, coordinate federal activity, review restoration and protection activities, and provide technical support. Lastly, the Office of Management and Budget would need to report every five years about federal funding for restoration and protection activities for the Puget Sound.
CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1144 would cost $223 million over the 2021-2026 period and $27 million after 2026, assuming appropriation of the specified amounts. Estimated outlays are based on spending patterns for similar programs, though estimated spending in the first year is lower to account for the time required to establish the office. The costs of the legislation, detailed in Table 1, fall within budget function 300 (natural resources and environment).