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                                                      Calendar No. 255
115th Congress     }                                     {      Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session       }                                     {     115-180
_______________________________________________________________________


 
  A BILL TO REQUIRE THE UNDER SECRETARY FOR OCEANS AND ATMOSPHERE TO 
UPDATE PERIODICALLY THE ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITY INDEX PRODUCTS OF THE 
 NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION FOR EACH COASTAL AREA 
               OF THE GREAT LAKES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES


                               __________



                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                S. 1586






[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]










                October 31, 2017.--Ordered to be printed
                                  ______

                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

79-010                         WASHINGTON : 2017 



















       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                     one hundred fifteenth congress
                             first session

                   JOHN THUNE, South Dakota, Chairman
 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi         BILL NELSON, Florida
 ROY BLUNT, Missouri                  MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
 TED CRUZ, Texas                      AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
 DEB FISCHER, Nebraska                RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
 JERRY MORAN, Kansas                  BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
 DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska                 EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
 DEAN HELLER, Nevada                  CORY A. BOOKER, New Jersey
 JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma            TOM UDALL, New Mexico
 MIKE LEE, Utah                       GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
 RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin               TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
 SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO, West           TAMMY DUCKWORTH, Illinois
    Virginia
 CORY GARDNER, Colorado               MARGARETWOODHASSAN, NewHampshire
 TODD C. YOUNG, Indiana               CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO, Nevada
                       Nick Rossi, Staff Director
                 Adrian Arnakis, Deputy Staff Director
                    Jason Van Beek, General Counsel
                 Kim Lipsky, Democratic Staff Director
           Christopher Day, Democratic Deputy Staff Director
           
           
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
           
           
           
           
           
                                                      Calendar No. 255
115th Congress     }                                     {      Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session       }                                     {     115-180

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


  A BILL TO REQUIRE THE UNDER SECRETARY FOR OCEANS AND ATMOSPHERE TO 
UPDATE PERIODICALLY THE ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITY INDEX PRODUCTS OF THE 
 NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION FOR EACH COASTAL AREA 
              OF THE GREAT LAKES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

                                _______
                                

                October 31, 2017.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Thune, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1586]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 1586) to require the Under 
Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere to update periodically the 
environmental sensitivity index products of the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for each coastal area of 
the Great Lakes, and for other purposes, having considered the 
same, reports favorably thereon with an amendment (in the 
nature of a substitute) and recommends that the bill (as 
amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    S. 1586 would require the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA) to begin updating its Environmental 
Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps for the Great Lakes not later than 
180 days after the date of enactment of the Act and would 
direct the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere (Under 
Secretary) to endeavor to update all ESI maps not less 
frequently than once every 7 years, subject to availability of 
appropriations and certain enumerated priorities.

                          Background and Needs


ESI maps

    ESI maps are concise compilations of information about 
coastal shoreline sensitivity, biological resources, and human 
resources. This information is used in planning to create 
cleanup strategies before an accident occurs so that 
authorities are prepared to take action in the event of an 
accident. ESI maps are an integral part of emergency response 
planning, preparedness, and response efforts. They are crucial 
to assisting decision makers, like the Coast Guard, by 
providing information about sensitive habitats and species in 
an area that could be at risk. They often drive prioritization 
of response options during an emergency or disaster.\1\
    Many ESI maps are out of date; some have not been updated 
since the 1980s (e.g., Great Lakes, Alaska). Updates to ESI 
maps involve compiling a wide range of data about shoreline 
type, biology, and socioeconomic resources, including those 
that are sensitive to oil. While the increase in digital data 
has reduced some development costs, the production of robust 
maps still requires substantial engagement with contract 
expertise and classification based on ESI criteria.
    ESI updates are prioritized by NOAA based on a combination 
of criteria, including the following:
           Age of existing atlas.
           Dynamics of the regional shoreline and 
        coastal environment (i.e., changes due to storms, 
        routine erosion/accretion, man-made changes, etc.).
           Vessel traffic/vulnerability to spilled 
        pollutants.
           Constituent needs and requests.
           ESI production costs/available funding.
    The size, complexity, and accessibility of a region, as 
well as availability of experts and data, all influence the 
cost of an update. With limited resources for updates to date, 
NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R;) focuses on 
regions where partners are available to contribute funding or 
data.\2\

Scope of an ESI update effort

    In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, OR&R; received $5 
million through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act to 
conduct ESI updates for the East Coast from Maine to South 
Carolina. This massive 3 year effort, which concluded in fiscal 
year 2017, substantially improved the coverage and quality of 
ESI mapping in the region. NOAA has estimated that an update of 
the Great Lakes region, which was last mapped between 1985 and 
2004, would be similar in scope and cost.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), ``Office 
of Response and Restoration, Environmental Sensitivity Index Maps,'' at 
http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/maps-and-spatial-data/
environmental-sensitivity-index-esi-maps.html.
    \2\Correspondence with NOAA, ``Information about NOAA's 
Environmental Sensitivity Index Maps for the Senate Commerce 
Committee,'' April 4, 2017.
    \3\Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                         Summary of Provisions

    S. 1586 would require NOAA to update its ESI maps for the 
Great Lakes starting not later than 180 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act and endeavor to update them every 7 
years, subject to available appropriations and certain 
enumerated priorities.
    The bill also would do the following:
           Outline the priorities to consider when 
        selecting geographic areas to update.
           Authorize appropriations of $7.5 million to 
        carry out the Great Lakes ESI update.

                          Legislative History

    S. 1586 was introduced by Senator Peters on July 19, 2017, 
and is cosponsored by Senator Young. On August 2, 2017, the 
Committee met in open Executive Session and, by voice vote, 
ordered S. 1586 reported favorably with an amendment (in the 
nature of a substitute).

                            Estimated Costs

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

S. 1586--Great Lakes Environmental Sensitivity Index Act of 2017

    Summary: S. 1586 would authorize the appropriation of $7.5 
million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
(NOAA) to update the environmental sensitivity index (ESI) maps 
for each coastal area of the Great Lakes.
    CBO estimates that implementing S. 1586 would cost $7.5 
million over the 2018-2022 period, subject to appropriation of 
the authorized amounts.
    Enacting S. 1586 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO 
estimates that enacting the legislation would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    S. 1586 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary effect of S. 1586 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--
                                               -----------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   2018       2019       2020       2021       2022    2018-2022
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 INCREASES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
 
Authorization Level...........................        7.5          0          0          0          0        7.5
Estimated Outlays.............................          5          2          *          *          0        7.5
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note * = less than $500,000.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the 
legislation will be enacted near the end of fiscal year 2017, 
that the authorized amounts will be appropriated for fiscal 
year 2018, and that spending will follow historical patterns 
for similar programs.
    S. 1586 would authorize the appropriation of $7.5 million 
for NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration to update the ESI 
maps for the Great Lakes' coastal areas. ESI maps provide a 
concise summary of coastal resources that are at risk if an oil 
spill occurs nearby. The information provided by those maps 
allows NOAA to establish protection priorities and identify 
cleanup strategies for locations vulnerable to substantial 
environmental damage from oil spills. In 2017, NOAA did not 
allocate any funding for activities related to ESI mapping.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Increase in long-term direct spending and deficits: CBO 
estimates that enacting S. 1586 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 1586 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would not affect the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Robert Reese; Impact 
on state, local, and tribal governments: Jon Sperl; Impact on 
the private sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       number of persons covered

    S. 1586, as reported, would not create any new programs or 
impose any new regulatory requirements, and therefore would not 
subject any individuals or businesses to new regulations.

                            economic impact

    S. 1586, as reported, is not expected to have a negative 
impact on the Nation's economy.

                                privacy

    The reported bill would have no impact on the personal 
privacy of individuals.

                               paperwork

    S. 1586, as reported, would not increase paperwork 
requirements for either the private or public sectors.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title.

    This section would provide that the Act may be cited as the 
``Great Lakes Environmental Sensitivity Index Act of 2017.''

Section 2. Update to Environmental Sensitivity Index Products of 
        National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for Great 
        Lakes.

    This section would require NOAA to begin updating the ESI 
products for each coastal area of the Great Lakes not later 
than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act and would 
require the Under Secretary to periodically update the ESI 
products, ideally not less frequently than once every 7 years, 
subject to the availability of appropriations and certain 
enumerated priorities. It also would set the priorities for the 
Under Secretary to consider when choosing a geographic area to 
update. This section would authorize to be appropriated $7.5 
million to carry out the first update of the Great Lakes 
region.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that the 
bill as reported would make no change to existing law.

                                  [all]