House Passes Bill Bolstering State Authority in Hazardous-Waste Cleanup

NEW YORK - MARCH 02: The heavily polluted Gowanus Canal on March 2, 2010 in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The 140-year-old Brooklyn waterway has just been named as a Superfund site by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The move to cleanup of the Gowanus, which was opposed by the Bloomberg administration, will cost between $300 million and $500 million and could take 10 to 12 years. 
National Journal
Clare Foran
See more stories about...
Clare Foran
Jan. 10, 2014, 1:23 a.m.

The House passed le­gis­la­tion on Thursday to amend a law already on the books gov­ern­ing fed­er­al cleanup of Su­per­fund and haz­ard­ous waste sites.

The bill was ap­proved on a party-line vote of 225-188, with only five Demo­crats sup­port­ing the meas­ure, in­clud­ing Reps. Jim Costa of Cali­for­nia, Col­lin Peterson of Min­nesota, and Nick Ra­hall of West Vir­gin­ia. The nill is not likely to be taken up by the Demo­crat­ic-con­trolled Sen­ate.

The le­gis­la­tion — the Re­du­cing Ex­cess­ive Dead­line Ob­lig­a­tions Act — is a com­bin­a­tion of three sep­ar­ate meas­ures in­tro­duced by Re­pub­lic­an Reps. Cory Gard­ner of Col­or­ado, and Bill John­son and Bob Latta of Ohio. The pack­age of bills would give states the abil­ity to as­sign pri­or­ity to Su­per­fund cleanups man­aged by fed­er­al laws, im­pose state and loc­al laws on fed­er­al cleanup pro­jects, and block the En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency from is­su­ing reg­u­la­tions for haz­ard­ous waste dis­pos­al in states where sim­il­ar reg­u­la­tions already ex­ist.

House con­ser­vat­ives used the bill’s pas­sage as a chance to put them­selves on re­cord in sup­port of elim­in­at­ing fed­er­al over­reach in the en­vir­on­ment­al sec­tor.

“We are five years in­to this failed ex­per­i­ment of in­creased gov­ern­ment spend­ing, tax­a­tion, and reg­u­la­tion,” Gard­ner said in a state­ment. “The res­ults are clear: The power to grow our eco­nomy and put Amer­ic­ans back to work lies in the private sec­tor. With more than 80,000 pages of new fed­er­al reg­u­la­tions pub­lished in 2013 alone, com­mon­sense re­vi­sions of ex­ist­ing rules and reg­u­la­tions are a vi­tal part of en­sur­ing busi­nesses that power our state and loc­al eco­nom­ies are giv­en the cap­ab­il­ity to grow.”

There was plenty of op­pos­i­tion to the le­gis­la­tion, however.

The White House is­sued a state­ment say­ing the pres­id­ent would veto the bill if it reached his desk. And more than 120 in­terest groups, in­clud­ing en­vir­on­ment­al ad­vocacy or­gan­iz­a­tions such as Earthjustice, the League of Con­ser­va­tion Voters, and the Nat­ur­al Re­sources De­fense Coun­cil, sent a let­ter to Con­gress op­pos­ing the meas­ure.

The le­gis­la­tion “sub­stan­tially in­creases the po­ten­tial for harm in com­munit­ies across the United States. As one in four Amer­ic­ans live with­in three miles of a haz­ard­ous-waste site, safe man­age­ment and prompt cleanup of tox­ic waste sites are es­sen­tial to our na­tion’s health and eco­nomy,” the sig­nat­or­ies wrote.

What We're Following See More »
ON GUN RIGHTS
Trump Jr. Meeting with GOP Members
3 hours ago
THE LATEST
FLOPPY DISKS
US Nukes Rely on Decades-Old Tech
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS
‘NO BASIS IN LAW’
Eleven States Sue Administration Over Transgender Bathroom Access
6 hours ago
THE LATEST

The great restroom war of 2016 continues apace, as eleven states have sued the Obama administration in federal court, claiming its federal guidance on how schools should accommodate transgender students "has no basis in law." "The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on behalf of Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The lawsuit argues that the federal government has worked to turn workplaces and schools 'into laboratories for a massive social experiment.'"

Source:
NEXT STOP: THE FLOOR
Puerto Rico Debt Bill Passes House Committee
6 hours ago
THE LATEST

By a 29-10 vote, the House Natural Resources Committee today passed the bill to allow Puerto Rico to restructure its $70 billion in debt. The legislation "would establish an oversight board to help the commonwealth restructure its un-payable debt and craft an economic recovery plan."

Source:
WITHIN 15 DAYS OF NOMINATION
Wyden Bill Would Make Nominees’ Tax Disclosures Mandatory
6 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Though every major party nominee since 1976 has released his tax returns while running for president, the practice has never been required by law. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) wants to change that. The senior Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, which handles tax issues, introduced a bill on Wednesday that would force presidential candidates to release their most recent tax returns. The Presidential Tax Transparency Act, as the bill is called, would require candidates to make their latest three years of tax returns public no later than 15 days after becoming the nominee."

Source:
×