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

Other Notable Bills

 

AIR TOXICS

 
SENSE Act (H.R. 1119

Background

H.R, 1119, the Satisfying Energy Needs and Saving the Environment (SENSE) Act, was approved by the House on March 8, 2018.  Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA) introduced the SENSE Act on February 16, 2017.  The bill would ease emission limits for hazardous air pollutants from electric power plants that convert coal to energy and require EPA to allow utilities to choose, from a list of specified standards, a standard for either hydrogen chloride or sulfur dioxide with which to comply.

Key Actions

March 8, 2018 - The House of Representatives, by a vote of 215 to 189, passed H.R. 1119, the Satisfying Energy Needs and Saving the Environment Act.

January 12, 2018 - The House Energy and Commerce Committee reported H.R. 1119

December 6, 2017 - The House Energy and Commerce Committee marked up and approved H.R. 1119 by a vote of 31 to 23.

November 15, 2017 - The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on the Environment marked up and approved H.R. 1119 by a vote of 13 to 10.

February 16, 2017 - Rep. Keith Rothfus introduced H.R. 1119.

 
Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns Act of 2017 (H.R. 1917, S. 839)

Background

H.R. 1917 was approved by the House on March 7, 2018.  As passed, the bill also includes the provisons of H.R. 453, the Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act.  Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) introduced H.R. 1917, the Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns (BRICK) Act on April 5, 2017.  Senator Roger Wicker introduced a companion bill - S. 839 - on the same day.   The bill would prohibit EPA from requiring compliance with the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standard for brick and structural clay products manufacturing or clay ceramics manufacturing until all judicial reviews of the regulations are complete.  The provisions of H. R. 453 incoporated into the BRICK Act would delay comliance with NSPS for residential wood heaters by three years, until May 2023.

Key Actions

March 7, 2018 - The House of Representatives, by a vote of 234 to 180, passed H.R. 1917, the Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns (BRICK) Act.  Prior to sending the BRICK Act to the House floor the House Rules Committee appended H.R. 453 – the Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act; the House vote on H.R. 1917, therefore, cleared the provisions of H.R. 453 as well.  The provisions of H.R. 453 - now part of H.R. 1917 -  would delay by three years – until May 2023 – Step 2 of EPA’s 2015 NSPS for new residential wood heaters, pellet stoves, hydronic heaters and forced air furnaces.

March 5, 2018 - The House Rules Committee passed a resolution to allow for consideration of H.R. 1917 on the House floor.  The version of H.R. 1917 posted by the Rules Committee, dated February 27, 2018, incorporates the provisions of H.R. 453, the Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act, which would 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 particlar, compliance with Step 2 of EPA's NSPS would be delayed until May 2023.  H.R. 453 was approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on December 6, 2017 and reported on January 10, 2018.

January 10, 2018 - The House Energy and Commerce Committee reported H.R. 1917.

December 6, 2017 - The House Energy and Commerce Committee marked up and approved H.R. 1917 by a vote of 31 to 23. 

November 15, 2017 - The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment marked up and approved H.R. 1917 by a vote of 12 to 10.

November 14, 2017 - The Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air held a hearing on several bills including S. 839.

September 13, 2017 – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment held a hearing on four bills, including H.R. 1917.

April 5, 2017 – H.R. 1917, the Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns (BRICK) Act of 2017 - was introduced by Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH).  A companion bill – S. 839 – was introduced in the Senate by Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS).

 

 
FUELS
 
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.

 

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.

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).

 
GREENER Fuels Act (H.R. 5212, S. 2519)

Background

On March 8, 2018, Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced H.R. 5212 and S. 2519, the Growing Renewable Energy through Existing and New Environmentally Responsible (GREENER) Fuels Act.  Under the companion bills any fuel derived from a corn kernel-based feedstock would no longer qualify as an advanced biofuel or cellulosic biofuel and invasive species would no longer qualify as renewable biomass.  The bills would also end an exemption that currently allows legacy ethanol refiners to avoid the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction standard and eliminate EPA’s authority to waive the existing GHG reduction requirements for various types of biofuels.  In addition, the GREENER Fuels Act would revise applicable biofuel volumes, modify how and when Renewable Volume Obligations are set and establish a schedule to sunset four biofuel categories – conventional ethanol, biomass-based diesel, cellulosic advanced biofuel and non-cellulosic advanced biofuel; this would include an extension of the cellulosic advanced biofuel mandate until at least 2 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuel are produced or 2037, whichever is first, at which time the cellulosic mandate would sunset.  Further, the bill would cap ethanol at 9.7 percent of the fuel supply to alleviate the ethanol blend wall and amend various EPA waiver authorities.  Other provisions would create a new 10-cent-per-RIN fee to fund a Private Land Protection and Restoration Fund to help pay for Department of Interior programs to assist private land owners in conserving land and habitat, and require a study of the potential impacts of ethanol blends greater than E10 on various factors including emissions, the environment and infrastructure.

Key Actions

March 8, 2018 - Companion bills H.R. 5212 and S. 2519, the Growing Renewable Energy through Existing and New Environmentally Responsible (GREENER) Fuels Act, were introduced in the House and Senate by Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM).  Until the Government Printing Officer pubishes the bills the text H.R. 5212 is available here and the text of S. 2519 is available here.  A section-by-section summary is available here.

 

MOBILE SOURCES
 
RPM Act (H.R. 350, S. 203)

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

December 6, 2017 The House Energy and Commerce marked up, approved and ordered reported H.R. 350 by a vote of 33-20.

November 15, 2017 The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment marked up and approved H.R. 350 by a vote of 13 to 9.

November 14, 2017 - The Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air Held a hearing on several bills including S. 203.

September 13, 2017 - The House Energy and Commerce Subcomittee on Environment held a hearing on four bills, including H.R. 350, to provide regulatory relief to small business.

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).

 
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, H.R. 4011)

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.  A House companion bill - H.R. 4011 - was introduced by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) on October 11, 2017.

Key Actions

October 11, 2017 – A House version of Fuel Economy Harmonization Act - H.R. 4011 - was introduced by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI).

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

 
Truck Trailer, and Transport Efficiency Act (H.R. 2705)

Background

Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) introduced H.R. 2705, the Truck, Trailer, and Transport Efficiency Act on May 25, 2017.  The bill would limit the applicability of the final Phase 2 Truck Rule (Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles - Phase 2, promulgated in 2016) to the extent the rule relates to trailers that do not themselves emit greenhouse gases in connection with a propulsion system.

Key Actions

May 25, 2017 –  H.R. 2705, the Truck, Trailer, and Transport Efficiency Act, was introduced by Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA)

 

Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2017 (S. 1447, H.R. 3107)

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.   A House companion - H.R. 3107 - was introduced by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) on June 29, 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

December 21, 2017 - The Senate approved S. 1447 by unanimous consent.  The Senate then vitiated passage of the bill and returned it to the calendar.

September 13, 2017 - The Senate Environment and Public Works committee reported S. 1447.

July 12, 2017 - The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee 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).

 

Transportation and Trailer Modernization Act (H.R. 3570)

Background

Rep. Earl "Buddy" Carter (R-GA) introduced H.R. 3570, the Transportation and Trailer Modernization Act, on July 28, 2017.  H.R. 3570 would amend part A of Title II of the Clean Air Act to exclude from the definition of a "motor vehicle" trailers and other vehicles that rely on a connection to a self-propelled vehicle.

Key Actions

July 28, 2017 –  H.R. 3570the Transportation and Trailer Modernization Act, was introduced by Rep. Earl "Buddy" Carter (R-GA).

 

Clean and Efficient Cars Act (H.R. 5226)

Background

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA), joined by 19 co-sponsors, introduced H.R. 5226, the Clean and Efficienct Cars Act.  H.R. 5226 would codify the greenhouse gas emission standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards established by EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission in 2012.

Key Actions

March 8, 2018 –  H.R. 5226the Clean and Efficient Cars Act, was introducted by Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and 19 co-sponsors.

 

MONITORING AND AIR SENSORS

 

Crowd Sourcing of Environmental Data Act of 2017 (H.R. 3959)

Background

On October 4, 2017, Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) introduced H.R. 3959, the Crowd Sourcing of Environmental Data Act of 2017, with two co-sponsors.  This bill would amend the Clean Air Act to allow states to supplement their existing monitoring networks with large numbers of air quality sensors, and to use the sensor data “in making any determination on whether an exceedance” of a National Ambient Air Quality Standard has occurred.  It would require states using sensor data for monitoring purposes to demonstrate to EPA on an annual basis that the data meet “all applicable data quality standards” under the Clean Air Act.  EPA would be charged with creating, within 12 months, regulations that specify how such a demonstration can be made.  The bill would prohibit EPA from requiring a state to use any particular monitoring method, so long as the data quality standards to be developed by EPA can be met.  The bill is a revised version of H.R. 1355, legislation that Rep. Schweikert introduced on March 2, 2017.

Key Actions

October 4, 2017H.R. 3959, the Crowd Sourcing of Environmental Data Act of 2017, was introduced by Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), with two co-sponsors: Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) and Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA).

 
 

NEW SOURCE REVIEW

 

H.R. 3127 (definition of “modification”)

Background

H.R. 3127 was introduced by Rep. H. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) on June 29, 2017, with 17 co-sponsors.  This bill would amend Section 111 of the Clean Air Act to exclude energy efficiency projects, pollution control projects, and reliability projects from the definition of “modification.”  Note that the Clean Air Act’s statutory definition of “construction” for the New Source Review preconstruction permitting programs includes “modifications” as defined by Section 111.  Thus, the amended definition set forth in H.R. 3127 would apply not only to Section 111 performance standards, but to Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Nonattainment New Source Review permitting  as well. 

Key Actions

June 29, 2017 – Rep. H. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) introduced H.R. 3127, with 17 co-sponsors.

 

H.R. 3128 (definition of “modification”)

Background

H.R. 3128 was introduced by Rep. H. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) on June 29, 2017, with 16 co-sponsors.  The bill would amend the definition of “modification” in Section 111 of the Clean Air Act to provide that a physical change, or change in the method of operation of, a stationary source increases the amount of any new air pollutant emitted by the source only if there is an increase in the source’s maximum achievable hourly emissions rate after the change, as measured against (1) the source’s design maximum achievable hourly emissions rate, and (2) the maximum hourly emissions rate actually achieved by the source during the 10-year period preceding the change.  Note that the Clean Air Act’s statutory definition of “construction” for the New Source Review preconstruction permitting programs includes “modifications” as defined by Section 111.  Thus, the amended definition set forth in H.R. 3128 would apply not only to Section 111 performance standards, but to Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Nonattainment New Source Review permitting  as well. 

Key Actions

June 29, 2017 – Rep. H. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) introduced H.R. 3128, with 16 co-sponsors.

 

 

OZONE/OTHER NAAQS
 
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.  Under the 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.

July 14, 2017 - The House Energy and Commerce Committee reported H.R. 806.

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).

 

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).

 
Clean Air Contingency Measures Act (H.R. 4730)

Background

Rep. Marthy McSally (R-AZ) introduced H.R. 4740, the Clean Air Contingency Measures Act, on December 21, 2017.  The bill would allow states to implement continency measures under the Clean Air Act early. 

Key Actions

December 21, 2017 –  H.R. 4730, the Clean Air Contingency Measures Act, was introduced by Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ).

 

 

RESIDENTIAL WOOD HEATERS
 

Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act (H.R. 453, S. 1857)

Background

The proivisons of H.R. 453 were approved by the House on March 7, 2018, when H.R. 1917 (the BRICK Act) was approved.  The House Rules Committee combined the two bills before sending H.R. 1917 to the floor for a vote.  Reps. Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced H.R. 453, the Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act of 2017 on January 11, 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.  On September 26, 2017, a companion bill - S. 1857 - was introduced by Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).  The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved S. 1857 on September 18, 2018 after rejecting an amendment in the nature of a substitute offer by Senator Tom Carper (D-DE).

Key Actions

September 18, 2018 - The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved S. 1857 by a party-line vote of 11 to 10, clearing the way for the bill to be scheduled to go to the Senate floor.  Prior to voting on S. 1857 as introduced by the bill's sponsor, Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), EPW Ranking Committee Member Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced Carper Amendment #1 in the nature of a substitute to S. 1857.  The amendment, which failed by a vote of 11 to 10, would have codified the current federal residential wood heater (RWH) NSPS adopted in 2015 (including the May 2020 Step 2 compliance date); provided for a one-year "sell-through" to allow retailers to continue sell Step 1 products in their inventory until May 15, 2021; waived the 30-day notice of certification testing for device testing provided that data is be captured in the cloud for EPA to analyze in the future; and authorized $75 million per year for each of FYs 2019 through 2024 for a buy-back program called WHERA (the Wood Heaters Emissions Reduction Act of 2018), similar to DERA, to incentize the turnover of older RWHs to newer, cleaner heaters at least as efficient as EPA-certified Step 2 heaters.

June 25, 2018 - NACAA sent a letter to leaders of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee expressing concern with S. 1857 - the Relief from NSPS Act. 

March 7, 2018 - The House of Representatives, by a vote of 234 to 180, passed H.R. 1917, the Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns (BRICK) Act.  Prior to sending the BRICK Act to the House floor the House Rules Committee appended the provisions H.R. 453 – the Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act; the House vote on H.R. 1917, therefore, cleared the provisions of H.R. 453 as well.  H.R. 1917 would prohibit EPA from requiring compliance with the MACT standard for brick and structural clay products manufacturing or clay ceramics manufacturing until all judicial reviews of the regulations are complete.  

March 5, 2018 - The House Rules Committee passed a resolution to allow for consideration of another bill - H.R. 1917, the Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns (BRICK) Act - on the House floor.  However, the version of H.R. 1917 posted by the Rule Committee, dated February 27, 2018, incorporates the provisions of H.R. 453, the Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act, to delay the compliance date for Step 2 of the new residential wood heater NSPS by three years, until May 2023.

January 10, 2018 – The House Energy and Commerce Committee reported H.R. 453, clearing the way for the bill to go to the House floor.

December 6, 2017 – The House Energy and Commerce Committee marked up and approved H.R. 453 by a vote of 32 to 21.

November 15, 2017 – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment marked-up and approvied H.R. 453 by a ote of 12 to 10.

November 14, 2017 - The Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air Held a hearing on several bills including S. 1857.

September 26 2017 – Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced S. 1857. 

September 13, 2017 - The House Energy and Commerce Subcomittee on Environment held a hearing on four bills, including H.R. 453, to provide regulatory relief to small business.

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).

 
 
SCIENCE
 
HONEST Act (H.R. 1430, S. 1794)

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.  A Senate companion bill - S. 1794 - was introduced by Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) on September 12, 2017.

Key Actions

September 12, 2017 - Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) introduced S. 1794, a companion to H.R. 1430.
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 24, 2017 - The House Science Committee reported H.R. 1430.

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 27, 2017 - The House Science Committee reported H.R. 1431.

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.

 
 
MISCELLANEOUS
 
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).

 

Fair Agriculture Reporting Method (FARM) Act (S. 2421)
Background

Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) introduced S, 2421, the Fair Agriculture Reporting Method (FARM) Act on March  on February 13, 2018.  The bill would amend the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) to exclude air emissions from animal waste from reporting requirements under CERCLA’s hazardous substance release reporting program.  A 2008 EPA rule exempted farms from CERCLA’s requirements, but the D.C. Circuit struck down the exemption in April 2017 and has indicated farms will have to meet the reporting requirements as of May 1, 2018. 

Key Actions

March 8, 2018 - The Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatgory Oversight held a hearing on S. 2421.

February 13, 2018 - S. 2421, the Fair Agriculture Reporting Method (FARM) Act, was introduced by Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE).

 

Environmental Justice Act (S. 1996, H.R. 4114)
Background

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Raul Ruiz introduced S. 1996 and H.R. 4114, the Environmental Justice Act, on October 24, 2017.  The companion bills would codify the 1994 Executive Order on Environmental Justice and the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, while expanding the public’s access to information from federal agencies charged with implementing the bill.  The bills would require federal agencies to address environmental justice by implementing, and updating annually, a strategy to address negative environmental and health impacts on minority and low-income communities.  They would also require federal and state governments to consider “cumulative impacts” of pollution in Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act permitting.  In addition, the bills would create a private right of action under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to allow individual citizens to bring suit against entities engaging in discriminatory practices that have a disparate environmental impact.  The would also ensure that communities injured by pollution can assert claims for damages in addition to injunctive relief.

Key Actions

October 24, 2017 - Companion bills S. 1996 and H.R. 4114, the Environmental Justice Act, were introduced by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA).