June 26, 2013
As ordered reported by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on June 19, 2013
H.R. 2279 would amend laws concerning the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) oversight of hazardous substances. The bill would authorize EPA to review regulations related to solid waste disposal only when necessary instead of every three years as required under current law. The legislation also would remove a long-expired deadline, which EPA has already met, regarding regulations for the owners and operators of certain types of facilities that produce, transport, treat, store, and dispose of hazardous substances. In addition, the bill would direct that any financial requirements established by EPA for such owners and operators do not preempt state or other federal agency requirements.
The bill also would require EPA to report to the Congress any financial responsibility requirements it intends to establish under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. Finally, H.R. 2279 would require certain facilities holding flammable or explosive materials to report on those holdings to state and local officials.
Based on information from EPA, CBO expects that removing the current requirement to review certain regulations every three years would reduce administrative costs. However, some of those savings in administrative expenses would be offset by spending on the new requirement to report to the Congress any financial responsibility requirements. CBO estimates that, on balance, implementing this legislation would not have a significant net impact on spending that is subject to appropriation over the 2014-2018 period. Enacting H.R. 2279 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
H.R. 2279 contains an intergovernmental and private-sector mandate as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). The bill would require some owners or operators of facilities that store flammable or explosive substances to provide information about the amount of such substances at the facility to state emergency response commissions. Because those owners and operators submit similar information to federal agencies, CBO estimates that the cost to submit information to state commissions would be minimal. Consequently, CBO estimates that the costs of the mandate would fall well below the annual thresholds established in UMRA for intergovernmental and private-sector mandates ($75 million and $150 million in 2013, respectively, adjusted annually for inflation).