June 20, 2014
As ordered reported by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on June 10, 2014
H.R. 4795 would impose various administrative requirements on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) aimed at increasing the transparency of its decisions and reducing delays associated with the permitting process under the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review (NSR) preconstruction program. Under that program, stationary sources of air pollution are required to obtain permits prior to building any new facilities or making any modifications to existing facilities. Usually, NSR permits are issued by state or local air pollution control agencies.
Enacting this legislation would require EPA to perform the following activities:
- Present on the agency’s website the number of preconstruction permits issued annually, the percentage of such permits issued within one year after filing an application, and the average length of time for EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to resolve administrative appeals;
- Publish regulations and guidance to assist states, permitting authorities, and permitting applicants whenever final or revised national ambient air quality standards are implemented; and
- Submit an annual report to the Congress identifying actions being taken by the agency to expedite the permitting process and the specific reasons for any delays in issuing permits.
CBO estimates that implementing this legislation would cost about $2 million over the 2015-2019 period, subject to the availability of appropriated funds. Enacting H.R. 4795 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
H.R. 4795 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.