Clean Air Act and Related Issues - 115th Congress (2017-2018)

Other Notable Bills

 

RPM Act (H.R. 350, S. 2013)

Background

On January 6, 2017, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) introduced H.R. 350, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act to permanently prevent EPA from regulating modified motor vehicles used for racing.  On January 24, 2017, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced a companion - S. 203.

Key Actions

January 24, 2017 - S. 203, a Senate companion to H.R. 350, was introduced by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC).

January 6, 2017 – H.R. 350, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act, was introduced by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC).

 

Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act (H.R. 453)

Background

On January 11, 2017, Reps. Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced H.R. 453, the Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act of 2017, to delay by three years federal emission standards established in March 2015 for new residential wood heaters, pellet stoves, hydronic heaters and forced air furnaces.  In particular, the bill would postpone the compliance date of Step 2 of EPA’s New Source Performance Standards until May 15, 2023.  H.R. 453 is supported by the Hearth, Patio & Barbeque Association.

Key Actions

January 11 2017 – H.R. 453, the Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act was introduced by Reps. Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).  The bill relates to EPA's March 2015 final NSPS for residential wood heating devices.  The Hearth, Patio & Barbeque Association (HPBA) issued a news release in which the association applauded the sponsors of H.R. 453.

 

Stop EPA Overregulation of Rural Americans Act (H.R. 694)

Background

On January 24, 2017, Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC) introduced H.R. 694, the Stop EPA Overregulation of Rural Americans Act.  The bill would repeal EPA's March 16, 2015 (80 Fed. Reg. 13671) final rule establishing New Source Performance Standards for residential wood heating devices.

Key Actions

January 24, 2017 - Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC) introduced H.R. 694, the Stop EPA Overregulation of Rural Americans Act, to repeal EPA's NSPS for residential wood heating devices, established on March 16, 2015 (80 Fed. Reg. 13671).

 

Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2017 (H.R. 732, S. 333)

Background

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced H.R. 732, the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2017, on January 30, 2017.  A companion bill - S. 333 - was introduced in Senate by Senator James Lankford (R-OK) on February 7, 2017.  The bill would prohibit an official or agent of the government from entering into or enforcing any settlement agreement on behalf of the U.S. directing or providing for a payment or loan to any person or entity other than the U.S. other than a payment or loan that provides restitution for or otherwise directly remedies actual harm (including to the environment) directly and proximately caused by the party making the payment or loan. The House Judiciary Committee approved H.R. 732 on February 7, 2017 by a vote of 17 to 8.

Key Actions

February 7, 2017 - The House Judiciary Committee approved H.R. 732 (17-8)

February 7, 2017 - Senator James Lankford (R-OK) introduced S. 333.

January 30, 2017 - Rep. Bob Goodlatte introduced H.R. 732.

 

H.R. 776 (on cellulosic biofuel)

Background

On January 31, 2017, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced H.R. 776, to require that until a comprehensive study is complete, the volume of cellulosic biofuel mandated uner the Renewable Fuel Program be limited to what is commercially available.

Key Actions

January 31, 2017 - Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced H.R. 776.

 

H.R. 777 (on mid-level ethanol blends)

Background

On January 31, 2017, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced H.R. 777, to provide for a comprehensive assessment of the scientific and technical reasearch related to the implications of the use of mid-level ethanol-belnd fuels.

Key Actions

January 31, 2017 - Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced H.R. 777.

 

Ozone Standards Implementation Act (H.R. 806, S. 263)

Background

The Ozone Standards Implementation Act was introduced on February 1, 2017 in both the House and the Senate by Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) - H.R. 806 - and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) - S. 263.  H.R. 806 was approved by the House on July 18, 2017 by a vote of 229 to 199.  In the Senate, the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air held a hearing on S. 263 on May 23, 2017.  Under Ozone Standards Implementation Act, implementation of the 2008 and 2015 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) would be phased in and final designations under the 2015 standard would be delayed until 2025.  In addition, the process by which NAAQS are established for any criteria pollutant would be amended to extend the timeframe for NAAQS reviews from every five years to every 10 years (although the EPA Administrator would have discretion to initiate an earlier review).  Also, when revising a NAAQS, the Administrator would be authorized to consider technological feasibility as a “secondary consideration” and required, prior to revising a NAAQS, to obtain advice from the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee regarding potential adverse effects related to implementation of a revised standard.  The bill would further require that until 2025 permits for new and modified industrial facilities be processed under the less-stringent 2008 ozone NAAQS.  Among other provisions of the bill are ones to ensure that for certain ozone and PM nonattainment areas states would not be required to include in their State Implementation Plans measures that are economically infeasible; amend the exclusions from the term “exceptional event” by changing “stagnation of air masses” to “ordinarily occurring stagnation of air masses” and eliminating “a meteorological event involving high temperatures or lack of precipitation”; eliminate the requirement for contingency measures in Extreme ozone nonattainment areas; and require EPA to submit to Congress, within two years, a report on the impact of foreign sources of pollution on compliance.    

Key Actions

July 18, 2017 – The House passed H.R. 806 by a vote of 229 to 199.

June 28, 2017 – The House Energy and Commerce Committee marked up and approved H.R. 806 by a vote of 29 to 24.

June 15, 2017 – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on the Environment marked up and approved H.R. 806 by a vote of 12 to 8.

May 23, 2017 - The Senate Environment and Public Works Subommittee on Clean Air held a hearing focused on two ozone bills - S. 263 and S. 452, the ORDEAL Act.

March 22, 2017 – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on the Environment held a hearing to take testimony on H.R. 806.

February 1, 2017 – The Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 – H.R. 806 and S. 263 – was introduced in the Senate and House by Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

 

H.R. 861 (to terminate EPA)

Background

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) introduced H.R. 861 on February 3, 2017.  The text of the bill is one sentence in length: "The Environmental Protection Agency shall terminate on December 31, 2018."

Key Actions

February 3, 2017 - Rep. Matt Gaetz introduced H.R. 861, to terminate EPA.

 

S.J. Res. 21 (to revoke the CSAPR Update Rule)

Background

On February 3, 2017, Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduced a S.J. Res. 21, Congressional Review Act (CRA) disapproval resolution to nullify EPA's final Cross-State Air Pollution (CSAPR) Update Rule for the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone.  Under the CRA, Congress can revoke federal regulations finalized up to 60 legislative days prior to the start of the current congressional session.  The CSAPR Update Rule was finalized on October 16, 2016.

Key Actions

February 3, 2017 - S.J. Res. 21, to nullify EPA's final CSAPR Update Rule for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, was introduced by Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA).

 

ORDEAL Act (S. 452)

Background

On February 27, 2017, Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced S. 452, the Ozone Regulatory Delay and Extension of Assessment Length (ORDEAL) Act of 2017.  The bill would delay enforcement and implementation of the 2015 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) until January 1, 2025 and extend the timeframe in which all NAAQS must be reviewed from every five years to every 10 years (in the case of ozone, the next review of the NAAQS could not take place before January 1, 2025).

Key Actions

May 23, 2017 - The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing focused on two ozone bills - S. 452 and S. 263, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017.

February 27, 2017 – S. 452, the Ozone Regulatory Delay and Extension of Assessment Length (ORDEAL) Act of 2017 was introduced by Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

 

Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act (S. 517, H.R. 1311)

Background

On March 2, 2017, Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Rep. Adrian Smith introduced the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act - S. 517 and H.R. 1311, respectively.  The bills would extend the summertime 1-pound-per-square-inch Reid Vapor Pressure waiver currently provided to E10 (fuel containing 10 percent ethanol) to ethanol blends above E10 thereby allowing E15 and other higher-ethanol-gasoline blends to be sold year round.  The Senate Environment and Public hearing held a hearing on S. 517 on June 14, 2017.

Key Actions

June 14, 2017 - The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on S. 517.

March 2, 2017 – S. 517, the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act, was introduced by Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE).  A House companion - H.R. 1311 - was introduced by Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE).

 

HONEST Act (H.R. 1430)

Background

The House of Representatives approved H.R. 1430 - the Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment (HONEST) Act of 2017 - on March 29, 2017, by a vote of 228 to 194.  H.R. 1430 was introduced on March 8, 2017 by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) , Chairman of the House Science Committee.  The HONEST Act would amend the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Actg of 1978 to prohibit EPA from proposing, promulgating or disseminating a covered action unless all scientific and technical data used to support the action is the best available science, specifically identified and publicly available in a manner that is sufficient for independent analysis and reproduction of research results.  The bill would apply to risk, exposure and hazard assessments, criteria documents, standards, limitations regulations, regulatory impact analyses and guidance documents.  After the bill was approved by the House, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO's) released an estimate of the cost to the federal government of implementing H.R. 1430.  The following week, on April 4, 2017, Senator Tom Carper, Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt requesting information related to agency staff's analysis of the bill, citing "reports that such analysis was prevented from being transmitted to the Congressional Budget Office by EPA leadership" for CBO's consideration when it was developing its cost estimate.  H.R. 1430 is endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and opposed by a number of health and medical organizations.

Key Actions

April 4, 2017 - Senator Tom Carper sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt requesting information on agency staff's analysis of the bill.

March 29, 2017 - The Congressional Budget Office released its estimate of the cost to the federal government of implementing H.R. 1430.

March 29, 2017 - The House passed H.R. 1430, the HONEST Act, by a vote of 228 to 194.

March 27, 2017 - A group of eight health and medical organizations sent a letter to House members urging that they oppose H.R. 1430 as well as H.R. 1431, the SAB Reform Act.

March 9, 2017 – The House Science Committee marked up and approved H.R. 1430 by a vote of 17-12.

March 8, 2017 - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Science Committee expressing support for H.R. 1430 as well as H.R. 1431, the SAB Reform Act.

March 8, 2017 – Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced H.R. 1430, the Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment (HONEST) Act of 2017.

 

SAB Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 1431)

Background

The House of Represenatives approved H.R. 1431, the Science Advisory Board Review Act of 2017, on March 30, 2017 by a vote of 229 to 193.  The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK), Vice Chair of the House Science Committee, would revise the way in which EPA's Science Advisory Board members are selected.  The bill is endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and opposed by a number of health and medical organizations.

Key Actions

March 30, 2017 - The House passed H.R. 1431 by a vote of 229 to 193.

March 27, 2017 - A group of eight health and medical organizations sent a letter to House members urging that they oppose H.R. 1431 as well as H.R. 1430, the HONEST Act.

March 9, 2017 – The House Science Committee marked up and approved H.R. 1431 by a vote of 19-14.

March 8, 2017 - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Science Committee expressing support for H.R. 1431 as well as H.R. 1430, the HONEST Act.

March 8, 2017 – Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) introduced H.R. 1431, the Science Advisory Board Review Act of 2017.

 
CAFE Standards Repeal Act of 2017 (H.R. 1593)

Background

Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) introduced H.R. 1593, the CAFE Standards Repeal Act of 2017, on March 17, 2017.  The bill would repeal repeal the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards.

Key Actions

March 17, 2017 - H.R. 1593, the CAFE Standards Repeal Act of 2017 was introduced by Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX).

 

Fuel Economy Harmonization Act (S. 1273)

Background

On May 25, 2017, Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced S. 1273, the Fuel Economy Harmonization Act, "to address conflicting regulations in federal fuel economy programs.

Key Actions

May 25, 2017 –  S. 1273, the Fuel Economy Harmonization Act, was introduced by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO).

 

Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2017 (S. 1447)

Background

Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), joined by Sentors John Barrasso (R-WY), James Inhofe (R-OK) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced S. 1447, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2017 on June 27, 2017.  The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved the bill on July 12, 2017.  The bill would reauthorize the DERA program - first established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 - for another five years, 2018 through 2022, with a recommended annual funding level of $100 million.  The sponsors also proposed several changes to the DERA program including requiring the recognition of "differences in typical vehicle, engine, equipment, and fleet use throughout the Unites States."  NACAA is part of a coalition, also including industry groups, environmental and public health organizations and other stakeolders, that is urging Congress to support reauthorization of DERA. 

Key Actions

July 12, 2017 - The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted to passed S. 1447.

June 29, 2017 - Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) introduced H.R. 3107, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2017, in the House.

June 27, 2017 - S. 1447, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2017, ws introduced by Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) joined by Sentors John Barrasso (R-WY), James Inhofe (R-OK) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).