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                                                      Calendar No. 320
116th Congress      }                                   {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session        }                                   {      116-170
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     



        GREAT LAKES ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITY INDEX ACT OF 2019

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                  COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND

                             TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                S. 1342

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


               December 10, 2019.--Ordered to be printed 
                                __________
	       
                   U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE
	                             
99-010                     WASHINGTON : 2019 
	                     
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                     one hundred sixteenth congress
                             first session

                 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi, Chairman
JOHN THUNE, South Dakota             MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
ROY BLUNT, Missouri                  AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
TED CRUZ, Texas                      RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
DEB FISCHER, Nebraska                BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
JERRY MORAN, Kansas                  EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska                 TOM UDALL, New Mexico
CORY GARDNER, Colorado               GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
MARSHA BLACKBURN, Tennessee          TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO, West Virginia  TAMMY DUCKWORTH, Illinois
MIKE LEE, Utah                       JON TESTER, Montana
RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin               KYRSTEN SINEMA, Arizona
TODD C. YOUNG, Indiana               JACKY ROSEN, Nevada
RICK SCOTT, Florida
                       John Keast, Staff Director
               David Strickland, Minority Staff Director


























                                                      Calendar No. 320
116th Congress      }                                   {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session        }                                   {      116-170
======================================================================



 
        GREAT LAKES ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITY INDEX ACT OF 2019

                                _______
                                

               December 10, 2019.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1342]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 1342) to require the Under 
Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere to update periodically the 
environmental sensitivity index products of the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for each coastal 
area of the Great Lakes, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an 
amendment and recommends that the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of S. 1342, the Great Lakes Environmental 
Sensitivity Index Act of 2019, is to direct NOAA to update its 
environmental sensitivity index (ESI) maps for the Great Lakes 
within 180 days after the enactment of the Act, as well as 
continue to update all ESI maps at least once every 7 years, if 
funds are appropriated.

                          Background and Needs

    ESI maps are concise compilations of information about 
coastal shoreline sensitivity, biological resources, and human-
use resources.\1\ The maps are valuable management tools used 
to inform emergency response planning, preparedness, and 
response efforts in the event of an oil spill.\2\ They are 
crucial to assisting responders, like the Coast Guard, by 
providing information about vulnerable locations, protection 
priorities, and cleanup strategies.\3\ They often drive 
prioritization of response options during an emergency or 
disaster.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of 
Response and Restoration, Environmental Sensitivity Index Maps (http://
response.restoration.noaa.gov/maps-and-spatial-data/environmental-
sensitivity-index-esi-maps.html) (accessed 6/12/2019).
    \2\Id.
    \3\Id. See also National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 
Office for Coastal Management, Environmental Sensitivity Index (https:/
/coast.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/data/esi.html) (accessed 10/21/2019).
    \4\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Many ESI maps are out of date. For example, the ESI maps 
for the Great Lakes and Alaska were last updated in the 1980s. 
Updates to ESI maps involve updating 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 the following criteria:
   Age of existing atlas;
   Dynamics of the regional shoreline and coastal 
        environment (i.e. changes due to storms, routine 
        erosion or accretion, man made changes, etc.);
   Vessel traffic and vulnerability to spilled 
        pollutants;
   Constituent needs and requests; and
   ESI production costs and 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.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Correspondence with NOAA, ``Information about NOAA's 
Environmental Sensitivity Index Maps for the Senate Commerce 
Committee,'' April 4, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, OR&R received $5 
million through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act\6\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\Pub. L. 113-2; 127 Stat. 19.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                         Summary of Provisions

    S. 1342, the Great Lakes Environmental Sensitivity Index 
Act of 2019, would do the following:
   Require NOAA to update its ESI maps for the Great 
        Lakes starting within 180 days of the enactment of this 
        Act.
   Update all ESI maps every 7 years, subject to 
        available appropriations.

                          Legislative History

    S. 1342 was introduced on May 7, 2019, by Senator Peters 
(for himself and Senator Young) and was referred to the 
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the 
Senate. On July 10, 2019, the Committee met in Executive 
Session, and by voice vote, ordered S. 1342 reported favorably 
with amendments.
    An identical bill, H.R. 2551, was introduced on May 7, 
2019, by Representative Kildee (for himself and Representatives 
Dingell, Huizenga, and Joyce) and was referred to the Committee 
on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives. On May 
21, 2019, H.R. 2551 was referred to that Committee's 
Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife.
    In the 115th Congress, a similar bill, S. 1586, was 
introduced on July 19, 2017, by Senator Peters (for himself and 
Senator Young) and was referred to the Committee on Commerce, 
Science, and Transportation of the Senate. Senator Franken was 
an additional cosponsor. On October 31, 2017, S. 1586 was 
reported favorably with an amendment (in the nature of a 
substitute), and on September 6, 2018, that bill passed the 
Senate with an amendment by voice vote.

                            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:

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


    S. 1342 would direct the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA) to update the environmental sensitivity 
index (ESI) maps for the Great Lakes' coastal areas. Under the 
bill, NOAA would be required to update those maps every seven 
years. 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 2019, no funds were allocated for ESI mapping.
    Using information from NOAA, CBO estimates that updating 
those ESI maps would take about three years and would require 
approximately seven additional employees at an average annual 
cost of $100,000 and would total $2 million over the 2020-2024 
period. Any spending would be subject to the availability of 
appropriated funds.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Robert Reese. 
The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    Because S. 1342 does not create any new programs, the 
legislation will have no additional regulatory impact, and will 
result in no additional reporting requirements. The legislation 
will have no further effect on the number or types of 
individuals and businesses regulated, the economic impact of 
such regulation, the personal privacy of affected individuals, 
or the paperwork required from such individuals and businesses.

                   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 bill may be cited as 
the ``Great Lakes Environmental Sensitivity Index Act of 
2019''.

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 within 180 
days after the enactment of this Act and require updates to all 
ESI products at least every 7 years, if funds are appropriated. 
It also would set priorities for the Under Secretary to 
consider when choosing a geographic area to update. This 
section would authorize $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]