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                                                       Calendar No. 231
112th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                     112-94

======================================================================



 
             THE NUTRIA ERADICATION AND CONTROL ACT OF 2011

                                _______
                                

               November 15, 2011.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mrs. Boxer, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 899]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred a bill (S. 899) to provide for the eradication and 
control of nutria, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon, with an amendment, and recommends that the 
bill, as amended, do pass.

                    General Statement and Background

    Nutria are large (average 12 pounds), semi-aquatic rodents 
with a strong appetite and high reproductive potential. Nutria 
can consume up to 25 percent of their body weight in plants per 
day. Nutria feeding habits can be extremely destructive to 
marsh vegetation, as the animal forages directly on plant 
roots. This process can turn productive wetlands into barren 
mud flats. Since their introduction in the 1930's to bolster 
the fur trade, nutria have damaged millions of acres of 
wetlands and countless miles of shoreline and have earned a 
spot among the International Union for Conservation of Nature's 
(IUCN) list of the world's 100 worst invasive alien species.
    The damage caused by nutria threaten wetlands, native 
wildlife and crops. Nutria impacts have both ecological and 
economic costs. For example, in Maryland, economic costs are 
estimated to be $4 million per year. Other impacts include:
     Wetlands--At high densities, nutria are able to 
convert marshland to open water by feeding on native plants in 
coastal marshes.
     Wildlife--Habitat destruction associated with 
nutria threatens waterfowl, muskrats, and rare marshland 
species of bird, fish and invertebrates. In marsh areas, nutria 
also compete with native and migrating wildlife for food 
resources.
     Crops--Extensive damage from nutria has been 
reported in rice, soybean, and sugar cane fields both from 
direct predation and indirect means. For example, extensive 
damage can be done to the levees surrounding rice plantation 
ponds as a result of the nutria's burrow digging.
     Parasites and diseases--Louisiana nutria have been 
found to carry several diseases, viruses, and parasites. Most 
notably, they carry the nematode Strongyloides myopotami, which 
can cause a severe itching rash in humans.
    A 2000 USGS report indicated nutria have established viable 
populations in 15 states. Significant wetland destruction has 
been documented in Maryland, Virginia, Louisiana, and Oregon. 
Some research suggests that the highest densities of nutria in 
the world are in the Pacific Northwest in Oregon's freshwater 
marshes.

Nutria Eradication and Control Act

    The Nutria Eradication and Control Act of 2003 was passed 
in 2003 and signed by then-President George W. Bush, becoming 
Public Law 108-16. It authorized an annual appropriation of $4 
million for Maryland and $2 million for Louisiana for each of 
the fiscal years 2004 through 2008. The Act encourages habitat 
protection, education, research, monitoring, and capacity 
building to provide for the long-term protection of coastal 
wetlands from destruction caused by nutria.
    Since 2000, funding has been provided through the Fish and 
Wildlife Service (FWS) to the Maryland Nutria Project. This 
effort has eradicated nutria from over 150,000 acres of the 
approximately 400,000 acres of infested wetland habitat in the 
state. The success in Maryland's program has also informed 
efforts in Louisiana. Entitled the Coastwide Nutria Control 
Program, Louisiana's nutria eradication program provides 
incentives for the trapping of nutria. The program is funded by 
the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act 
(CWPPRA) through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation 
Service and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.
    The Nutria Eradication and Control Act builds on the 
successful efforts of Maryland and Louisiana. In addition to 
Maryland and Louisiana, the Act would enable the FWS to provide 
assistance to Delaware, Oregon, North Carolina, Virginia, and 
Washington.

                     Objectives of the Legislation

    This bill would reauthorize the Nutria Eradication and 
Control Act of 2003 and extend the program to the states of 
Delaware, Oregon, North Carolina, Washington, and the 
Commonwealth of Virginia. The program would provide assistance 
to eradicate and control nutria populations and restore nutria-
damaged wetland.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 provides that this bill may be cited as the 
``Nutria Eradication and Control Act of 2011.''

Section 2. Findings and purpose

    Section 2 provides the general purpose of the bill, along 
with several findings which: recognize the economic and 
environmental importance of wetland and tidal marshes in the 
Chesapeake Bay, State of Louisiana, and other coastal states; 
recognize that the South American nutria (Myocastor coypus) is 
directly contributing to substantial marsh losses on land in 
the States of Maryland and Louisiana, and other coastal states; 
acknowledges that the Nutria Eradication and Control Act of 
2003 (Public Law 108-16; 117 Stat. 621) has eradicated and 
reduced nutria-impacted wetlands acres in the States of 
Maryland and Louisiana; acknowledges that proven techniques 
developed under the Nutria Eradication and Control Act of 2003 
are eradicating and reducing the acres of nutria-impacted 
wetlands in Maryland and Louisiana and should be applied to 
nutria eradication or control programs in other nutria-infested 
coastal States.

Section 3. Definitions

    Section 3 provides definitions for several terms used 
throughout the bill.

Section 4. Nutria Eradication Program

    Section 4 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior 
(Secretary), subject to the availability of appropriations, to 
provide financial assistance to the States of Maryland, 
Louisiana, and the coastal States to eradicate or control 
nutria and requires that costs shall be matched by non-federal 
and in-kind contributions. As amended, Section 4 authorizes $6 
million annually, which includes $2 million for the State of 
Maryland, $2 million for the State of Louisiana, and $2 million 
for other coastal states.

Section 5. Report

    Section 5 requires the Secretary and the National Invasive 
Species Council to issue a report that continues the long-term 
nutria control or eradication program in coordination with the 
State of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the 
State of Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the State of 
Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental 
Control, the State of Virginia Department of Game and Inland 
Fisheries, the State of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, 
and the State of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

                          Legislative History

    Similar legislation was introduced in the 111th Congress. 
In the 112th Congress, on May 5, 2011, Senator Cardin 
introduced S. 899, which was cosponsored by Senators Hagan, 
Landrieu, Mikulski and Merkley. The bill was received, read 
twice and referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and 
Public Works. The full committee met on July 13, 2011 to 
consider the bill. At the meeting, Senator Cardin offered an 
amendment that modified the bill to authorize $6 million in 
appropriations for each of fiscal years 2012 through 2017. The 
amendment also provided that $2,000,000 shall be used to 
provide financial assistance to Maryland, $2,000,000 shall be 
used to provide financial assistance to Louisiana, and the 
remaining $2,000,000 shall be used to provide financial 
assistance to other states on a competitive basis. The 
committee ordered S. 899 to be reported with an amendment.

                                Hearings

    In the 111th Congress, the Senate Committee on Environment 
and Public Works, Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife, held a 
legislative hearing on December 3, 2009 to consider a number of 
bills including S. 1519, the Nutria Eradication and Control 
Act.

                             Rollcall Votes

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works met to 
consider S. 899 on July 13, 2011. The bill was ordered reported 
favorably, as amended, by voice vote. No roll call votes were 
taken.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In compliance with section 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee finds that S. 899 
does not create any additional regulatory burdens, nor will it 
cause any adverse impact on the personal privacy of 
individuals.

                          Mandates Assessment

    In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Public Law 104-4), the committee notes that the CBO cost 
estimate found that, ``S. 899 contains no intergovernmental or 
private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA and would impose no 
costs on state, local, or tribal governments.''

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In accordance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following identification of congressionally directed spending 
items contained in the bill, as reported:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Section                  Provision                     Member
------------------------------------------------------------------------
4                Authorization of appropriations   Sen. Cardin
------------------------------------------------------------------------

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                                    August 2, 2011.
Hon. Barbara Boxer,
Chairman, Committee on Environment and Public Works,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Madam Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 899, the Nutria 
Eradication and Control Act of 2011.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jeff LaFave.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

S. 899--Nutria Eradication and Control Act of 2011

    Summary: S. 899 would authorize the Secretary of the 
Interior to provide financial assistance to Maryland, 
Louisiana, and certain other coastal states for the control or 
eradication of South American nutria (a foreign invasive 
species) and for the restoration of marshlands damaged by the 
mammal. Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO 
estimates that implementing S. 899 would cost $30 million over 
the 2012-2016 period. Enacting the legislation would not affect 
direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures do not apply.
    S. 899 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of S. 899 is shown in the following table. The 
costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                         -------------------------------------------------------
                                                            2012     2013     2014     2015     2016   2012-2016
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Authorization Level.....................................        6        6        6        6        6        30
Estimated Outlays.......................................        6        6        6        6        6        30
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 
899 will be enacted by the end of 2011, that the authorized 
amounts will be appropriated for each fiscal year, and that 
funds will be provided to the states in annual lump sums. Over 
the 2012-2016 period, the bill would authorize the 
appropriation of $6 million annually, including $2 million for 
Maryland, $2 million for Louisiana, and a total of $2 million 
for the states of Delaware, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, 
and Washington.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 899 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments. Several states would benefit from the 
program authorized in the bill. Any costs to those states would 
be incurred voluntarily as a condition of receiving federal 
assistance.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Jeff LaFave; Impact on 
state, local, and tribal governments: Melissa Merrell; Impact 
on the private sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by the bill 
as reported are shown as follows: Existing law proposed to be 
omitted is enclosed in [black brackets], new matter is printed 
in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown 
in roman:

               NUTRIA ERADICATION AND CONTROL ACT OF 2003


SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Nutria Eradication and 
Control Act of 2003''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

  (a) Findings.--The Congress finds the following:
          (1) Wetlands and tidal marshes of the Chesapeake Bay 
        [and in Louisiana], the State of Louisiana, and other 
        coastal States provide significant cultural, economic, 
        and ecological benefits to the Nation.
          (2) The South American nutria (Myocastor coypus) is 
        directly contributing to substantial marsh loss [in 
        Maryland and Louisiana on Federal, State, and private 
        land]on Federal, State, and private land in the States 
        of Maryland and Louisiana and in other coastal States.
          [(3) Traditional harvest methods to control or 
        eradicate nutria have failed in Maryland and have had 
        limited success in the eradication of nutria in 
        Louisiana. Consequently, marsh loss is accelerating.
          [(4) The nutria eradication and control pilot program 
        authorized by Public Law 105-322 is to develop new and 
        effective methods for eradication of nutria.]
          (3) This Act authorizes the Maryland Nutria Project, 
        which has successfully eradicated nutria from more than 
        130,000 acres of Chesapeake Bay wetlands in the State 
        of Maryland and facilitated the creation of voluntary, 
        public-private partnerships and more than 406 
        cooperative landowner agreements.
          (4) This Act and the Coastal Wetlands Planning, 
        Protection, and Restoration Act (16 U.S.C. 3951 et 
        seq.) authorize the Coastwide Nutria Control Program, 
        which has reduced nutria-impacted wetland acres in the 
        State of Louisiana from 80,000 acres to 23,141 acres.
          (5) The proven techniques developed under this Act 
        that are eradicating nutria in the State of Maryland 
        and reducing the acres of nutria-impacted wetlands in 
        the State of Louisiana should be applied to nutria 
        eradication or control programs in other nutria-
        infested coastal States.
  [(b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to authorize the 
Secretary of the Interior to provide financial assistance to 
the State of Maryland and the State of Louisiana for a program 
to implement measures to eradicate or control nutria and 
restore marshland damaged by nutria.]
  (b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to authorize the 
Secretary of the Interior to provide financial assistance to 
the States of Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, 
Oregon, Virginia, and Washington to carry out activities--
          (1) to eradicate or control nutria; and
          (2) to restore nutria damaged wetlands.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act:
          (1) Coastal state.--The term ``coastal State'' means 
        each of the States of Delaware, Oregon, North Carolina, 
        Virginia, and Washington.
          (2) Program.--The term ``program'' means the nutria 
        eradication program established by section 4(a).
          (3) Public-private partnership.--The term `public-
        private partnership' means a voluntary, cooperative 
        project undertaken by governmental entities or public 
        officials and affected communities, local citizens, 
        nongovernmental organizations, or other entities or 
        persons in the private sector.
          (4) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the 
        Secretary of the Interior.

SEC. [3]4. NUTRIA ERADICATION PROGRAM.

  [(a) Grant Authority.--The Secretary of the Interior (in this 
Act referred to as the ``Secretary''), subject to the 
availability of appropriations, may provide financial 
assistance to the State of Maryland and the State of Louisiana 
for a program to implement measures to eradicate or control 
nutria and restore marshland damaged by nutria.]
  (a) In General.--The Secretary may, subject to the 
availability of appropriations, provide financial assistance to 
the States of Maryland and Louisiana and the coastal States to 
implement measures--
          (1) to eradicate or control nutria; and
          (2) to restore wetlands damaged by nutria.
  (b) Goals.--The goals of the program shall be to--
        (1) eradicate nutria in the State of Maryland;
        (2) eradicate or control nutria in Louisiana and [other 
        States]the coastal States; and
        (3) restore [marshland]wetlands damaged by nutria.
  [(c) Activities](c) Activities in the State of Maryland.--In 
the State of Maryland, the Secretary shall require that the 
program consist of management, research, and *622 public 
education activities carried out in accordance with the 
document published by the United States Fish and Wildlife 
Service entitled ``Eradication Strategies for Nutria in the 
Chesapeake and Delaware Bay Watersheds'', dated March 2002, and 
updated in March 2009.
  (d) Cost Sharing.--
          (1) Federal share.--The Federal share of the costs of 
        the program may not exceed 75 percent of the total 
        costs of the program.
          (2) In-Kind contributions.--The non-Federal share of 
        the costs of the program may be provided in the form of 
        in-kind contributions of materials or services.
  (e) Limitation on Administrative Expenses.--Not more than 5 
percent of [financial assistance provided by the Secretary 
under this section]the amounts made available under subsection 
(f) to carry out the program may be used for administrative 
expenses.
    [(f) Authorization of Appropriations.--For financial 
assistance under this section, there is authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary $4,000,000 for the State of 
Maryland program and $2,000,000 for the State of Louisiana 
program for each of fiscal years 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 
2008.]
  (f) Authorization of Appropriations.--Subject to subsection 
(e), there is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to 
carry out the program $6,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2012 
through 2016, of which--
          (1) $2,000,000 shall be used to provide financial 
        assistance to the State of Maryland;
          (2) $2,000,000 shall be used to provide financial 
        assistance to the State of Louisiana; and
          (3) $2,000,000 shall be used to provide financial 
        assistance, on a competitive basis, to other coastal 
        States.

SEC. [4]5. REPORT.

  No later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of 
this Act, the Secretary and the National Invasive Species 
Council shall--
          (1) give consideration to the 2002 report for the 
        Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries titled 
        ``Nutria in Louisiana'', and the [2002 document 
        entitled ``Eradication Strategies for Nutria in the 
        Chesapeake and Delaware Bay Watersheds'']March 2009 
        update of the document entitled `Eradication Strategies 
        for Nutria in the Chesapeake and Delaware Bay 
        Watersheds' and originally dated March 2002; and
          (2) [develop]continue, in cooperation with the State 
        of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and 
        the State of Maryland Department of Natural Resources, 
        a long-term nutria control or eradication program, as 
        appropriate, with the objective to significantly reduce 
        and restore the damage nutria cause to coastal wetlands 
        in the States of Louisiana and Maryland[.]; and
          (3) develop, in cooperation with the State of 
        Delaware Department of Natural Resources and 
        Environmental Control, the State of Virginia Department 
        of Game and Inland Fisheries, the State of Oregon 
        Department of Fish and Wildlife, the State of North 
        Carolina Department of Environment and Natural 
        Resources, and the State of Washington Department of 
        Fish and Wildlife, long-term nutria control or 
        eradication programs, as appropriate, with the 
        objective of--
                  (A) significantly reducing and restoring the 
                damage nutria cause to coastal wetlands in the 
                coastal States; and
                  (B) promoting voluntary, public-private 
                partnerships to eradicate or control nutria and 
                restoring nutria-damaged wetlands in the 
                coastal States.

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