[House Report 116-405]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


116th Congress    }                                            {   Report
                          HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                            {  116-405

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



 
  TO AMEND THE NUTRIA ERADICATION AND CONTROL ACT OF 2003 TO INCLUDE 
           CALIFORNIA IN THE PROGRAM, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

                                _______
                                

 February 25, 2020.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Grijalva, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3399]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 3399) to amend the Nutria Eradication and 
Control Act of 2003 to include California in the program, and 
for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommends that the 
bill as amended do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. NUTRIA ERADICATION.

  The Nutria Eradication and Control Act of 2003 (Public Law 108-16) is 
amended--
          (1) in section 2--
                  (A) in subsection (a)--
                          (i) in paragraph (1), by striking ``Wetlands 
                        and tidal marshes of the Chesapeake Bay and in 
                        Louisiana'' and inserting ``Wetlands, tidal 
                        marshes, and agricultural lands'';
                          (ii) in paragraph (2), by striking ``in 
                        Maryland and Louisiana''; and
                          (iii) by amending paragraph (3) to read as 
                        follows:
          ``(3) Traditional harvest methods to control or eradicate 
        nutria have failed. Consequently, marsh loss, loss of public 
        and private wetlands, and loss of agricultural lands are 
        accelerating.''; and
                  (B) in subsection (b), by striking ``the State of 
                Maryland and the State of Louisiana'' and inserting 
                ``any State that has demonstrated the need''; and
          (2) in section 3--
                  (A) by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
  ``(a) Grant Authority.--The Secretary of the Interior (referred to in 
this Act as the `Secretary'), may provide financial assistance to a 
State, in an amount that is in proportion to the total impacted area of 
such State affected by nutria, that has demonstrated to the Secretary 
sufficient need for a program to implement measures to eradicate or 
control nutria and restore marshland, public and private wetlands, and 
agricultural lands damaged by nutria.'';
                  (B) by striking subsection (b);
                  (C) in subsection (d)--
                          (i) in paragraph (1), by striking ``the 
                        program may'' and inserting ``a State program 
                        referred to in subsection (a) may''; and
                          (ii) in paragraph (2), by striking ``the 
                        program may'' and inserting ``a State program 
                        referred to in subsection (a) may'';
                  (D) in subsection (e), by inserting ``to a State'' 
                after ``provided'';
                  (E) in subsection (f), by striking ``$4,000,000'' and 
                all that follows and inserting ``$12,000,000 for each 
                of fiscal years 2021 through 2025.''; and
                  (F) by redesignating subsections (c) through (f) as 
                subsections (b) through (e).

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 3399 is to amend the Nutria Eradication 
and Control Act of 2003 to include all affected states in the 
program, and for other purposes.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Nutria (Myocastor coypus) are an invasive wetland species 
that have been found in coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico, 
East Coast, West Coast, and other wetland areas scattered 
throughout the United States. These large, aquatic rodents were 
initially introduced into the United States in 1899 for fur 
production,\1\ and they began establishing populations in the 
1930s.\2\ Nutria breed rapidly and have destructive tendencies 
that can lead to breached levees, extensive erosion, damage to 
native vegetation and agricultural crops, displacement of 
indigenous species, and disease and parasite introduction, 
threatening humans, livestock, and pets.\3\ Nutria's burrowing 
and consumption habits pose a severe threat to wetlands 
throughout the United States, which are essential habitat for 
waterfowl and other wildlife and act as ``buffers'' from 
extreme weather events.\4\ Since European settlement, wetlands 
in the United States have declined to less than half of their 
original extent.\5\ Had measures not been adopted to control 
and eradicate nutria in the Chesapeake Bay, nutria could have 
destroyed 17 percent of the Bay's marshes in a fifty-year 
period, according to estimates.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Susan Jojola, Gary W. Witmer & Dale Nolte, USDA Animal & Plant 
Health Inspection Serv.--Wildlife Servs., Nutria: An Invasive Rodent 
Pest or Valued Resource?, Proc. 11th WildlifeDamageMgmt. Conf. 110 
(2005), https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/icwdm_wdmconfproc/110/.
    \2\Nutria, USDA Nat'l Invasive Species Info. Ctr., https://
www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/profile/nutria (last accessed Feb. 24, 
2020) (citing Jojola et al., supra note 1).
    \3\California's Invaders: Nutria, Cal. Dep't of Fish & Wildlife, 
https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Invasives/Species/Nutria (last 
accessed Feb. 24, 2020).
    \4\See, e.g., U.S. EPA, Off. of Wetlands, Oceans & Watersheds, Off. 
of Res. & Dev., EPA-843-R-15-005, National Wetland Condition Assessment 
2011 (2016), https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-05/
documents/nwca_2011_public_report_20160510.pdf.
    \5\Id. at 4.
    \6\Rob Southwick & Pat Foster-Turley, Ph.D., Southwick Assocs., 
Inc., Potential Economic Losses Associated with Uncontrolled Nutria 
Populations in Maryland's Portion of the Chesapeake Bay (2004), https:/
/www.fws.gov/chesapeakenutriaproject/pdfs/Southwick_Economic_rpt.pdf 
(prepared for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In 2003, the Nutria Eradication and Control Act\7\ 
authorized the Secretary of the Interior to provide financial 
assistance to Maryland and Louisiana for a program to eradicate 
or control nutria and restore marshland damaged by nutria.\8\ 
H.R. 3399, as reported, amends the Nutria Eradication and 
Control Act to include any affected state,\9\ including 
California, which now has an expanding breeding population of 
nutria in the San Joaquin Valley and adjacent areas.\10\ In 
addition, the bill, as reported, includes language to adjust 
the grant authority to be in proportion to the total impacted 
area affected by nutria infestation and to authorize $12 
million in appropriations for each of fiscal years 2021 through 
2025.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\Pub. L. No. 108-16, https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PLAW-
108publ16/pdf/PLAW-108publ16.pdf, 117 Stat. 621 (2003), https://
uscode.house.gov/statviewer.htm?volume=117& page=621.
    \8\Id. at Sec. 3(a).
    \9\H.R. 3399, as introduced, expanded the Nutria Eradication and 
Control Act of 2003 only to include California. At markup, the 
Committee on Natural Resources adopted an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute to expand the program to any state with a nutria infestation 
and a demonstrated need for assistance.
    \10\Discovery of Invasive Nutria in California, Cal. Dep't of Fish 
& Wildlife, https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Invasives/Species/
Nutria/Infestation (last accessed Feb. 24, 2020).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 3399 was introduced on June 21, 2019, by 
Representative Josh Harder (D-CA). The bill was referred solely 
to the Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee 
to the Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife. On 
September 24, 2019, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the 
bill. On January 29, 2020, the Natural Resources Committee met 
to consider the bill. The Subcommittee was discharged by 
unanimous consent. Chair Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ) offered an 
amendment in the nature of a substitute. The amendment in the 
nature of a substitute was agreed to by unanimous consent. The 
bill, as amended, was adopted and ordered favorably reported to 
the House of Representatives by unanimous consent.

                                Hearings

    For the purposes of section 103(i) of H. Res. 6 of the 
116th Congress--the following hearing was used to develop or 
consider H.R. 3399: legislative hearing by the Subcommittee on 
Water, Oceans, and Wildlife held on September 24, 2019.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Nutria eradication

    Paragraph 1 of this section amends the Nutria Eradication 
and Control Act of 2003 to expand the program to allow all 
affected states to qualify for the grant program, rather than 
just Maryland and Louisiana. Under this provision, the 
Secretary of Interior may provide financial assistance to a 
state--in an amount that is in proportion to the state's total 
impacted area affected by nutria--to help eradicate or control 
nutria and restore marshlands, wetlands, and agricultural lands 
damaged by nutria.
    Paragraph 2 of this section authorizes the appropriation of 
$12 million for each of fiscal years 2021 through 2025.

            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

           Compliance With House Rule XIII and Congressional 
                               Budget Act

    1. Cost of Legislation and the Congressional Budget Act. 
With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) and (3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
sections 308(a) and 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974, the Committee has received the following estimate for the 
bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                 Washington, DC, February 21, 2020.
Hon. Raul M. Grijalva,
Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 3399, a bill to 
amend the Nutria Eradication and Control Act of 2003 to include 
California in the program, and for other purposes.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Janani 
Shankaran.
            Sincerely,
                                         Phillip L. Swagel,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

    
    

    H.R. 3399 would authorize the annual appropriation of $12 
million over the 2021-2025 period for the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service to provide financial assistance to states to 
eradicate nutria, an invasive rodent species, and to restore 
wetlands damaged by nutria. In 2020, the agency allocated $4 
million for that purpose.
    Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, and based 
on historical spending patterns for similar activities, CBO 
estimates that implementing H.R. 3399 would cost $52 million 
over the 2020-2025 period. The costs of the bill, detailed in 
Table 1, fall within budget function 300 (natural resources and 
environment).

               TABLE 1.--ESTIMATED INCREASES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION UNDER H.R. 3399
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     By fiscal year, millions of dollars
                                                            ----------------------------------------------------
                                                              2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   2025  2020-2025
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Authorization..............................................      0     12     12     12     12     12        60
Estimated Outlays..........................................      0      7     10     11     12     12        52
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Janani 
Shankaran. The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Director of Budget Analysis.
    2. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goals and 
objectives of this bill are to amend the Nutria Eradication and 
Control Act of 2003 to include all affected states in the 
program.

                           Earmark Statement

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                 Unfunded Mandates Reform Act Statement

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                           Existing Programs

    This bill does not establish or reauthorize a program of 
the federal government known to be duplicative of another 
program. Such program was not included in any report from the 
Government Accountability Office to Congress pursuant to 
section 21 of Public Law 111-139 or identified in the most 
recent Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance published 
pursuant to 31 U.S.C. Sec. 6104 as relating to other programs.

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

               Preemption of State, Local, or Tribal Law

    Any preemptive effect of this bill over state, local, or 
tribal law is intended to be consistent with the bill's 
purposes and text and the Supremacy Clause of Article VI of the 
U.S. Constitution.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, 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, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

               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] Wetlands, tidal marshes, and 
        agricultural lands 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.
          [(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.]
          (3) Traditional harvest methods to control or 
        eradicate nutria have failed. Consequently, marsh loss, 
        loss of public and private wetlands, and loss of 
        agricultural lands are 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.
  (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] any State 
that has demonstrated the need for a program to implement 
measures to eradicate or control nutria and restore marshland 
damaged by nutria.

SEC. 3. 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) Grant Authority.--The Secretary of the Interior (referred 
to in this Act as the ``Secretary''), may provide financial 
assistance to a State, in an amount that is in proportion to 
the total impacted area of such State affected by nutria, that 
has demonstrated to the Secretary sufficient need for a program 
to implement measures to eradicate or control nutria and 
restore marshland, public and private wetlands, and 
agricultural lands damaged by nutria.
  [(b) Goals.--The goals of the program shall be to--
          [(1) eradicate nutria in Maryland;
          [(2) eradicate or control nutria in Louisiana and 
        other States; and
          [(3) restore marshland damaged by nutria.]
  [(c)] (b) Activities.--In the State of Maryland, the 
Secretary shall require that the program consist of management, 
research, and 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.
  [(d)] (c) Cost Sharing.--
          (1) Federal share.--The Federal share of the costs of 
        [the program may] a State program referred to in 
        subsection (a) 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] a State program referred 
        to in subsection (a) may be provided in the form of in-
        kind contributions of materials or services.
  [(e)] (d) Limitation on Administrative Expenses.--Not more 
than 5 percent of financial assistance provided to a State by 
the Secretary under this section may be used for administrative 
expenses.
  [(f)] (e) 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.] $12,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2021 through 2025.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


        Supplemental, Minority, Additional, or Dissenting Views

    None.