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THURSDAY: #SubEnvironment to Markup Three Bills to Modernize Nation’s Environmental Laws and Infrastructure

Jun 13, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC – The Environment Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), today announced a markup for Thursday, June 15, 2017, at 10 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Building on the committee’s efforts to modernize our energy infrastructure and environmental laws, #SubEnvironment will consider several pieces of legislation including H.R. 806, Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017, a bill related to the management of our nation’s nuclear waste, and legislation related to Brownfields reauthorization.  

The subcommittee will consider the following bills:

H.R. 806, Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017

  • In October of 2015, while states and communities were just beginning to implement the 2008 ozone standard following long-overdue EPA guidance, EPA revised those standards and imposed additional new planning and compliance obligations on states.
  • H.R. 806, reintroduced by #SubEnergy Vice Chairman Pete Olson (R-TX), with Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX), Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), among others, would provide states the flexibility needed to implement the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone on an efficient and realistic timeline. This legislation will ensure the nation’s infrastructure and manufacturing permitting continue while maintaining improvements to air quality. 
  • The subcommittee held a legislative hearing on the legislation back in March of this year.

H.R.___, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2017

  • Spent nuclear fuel sits idle in 121 communities across 39 states because the country lacks a permanent geologic repository. The Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act provides practical reforms to the nation’s nuclear waste management policy to ensure the federal government’s legal obligations to dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste will be fulfilled.
  • This legislation preserves Yucca Mountain as the most expeditious path for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste disposal while authorizing interim storage, including private storage initiatives, to provide optionality until Yucca Mountain is fully licensed and prepared to receive shipments.
  • The subcommittee held a legislative hearing in April of this year.
  • For a full list of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s work on nuclear waste management policy, click HERE.

H.R.___, Brownfields Enhancement Economic Redevelopment and Reauthorization Act of 2017

  • Brownfields are often abandoned, closed, or under-utilized former industrial or commercial facilities, such as an abandoned factory in a town, a closed commercial building or warehouse, or a former dry cleaning establishment or gas station.
  • EPA estimates that there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S., each of which has the potential for economic development through the Brownfields Program.
  • The discussion draft makes improvements to the Brownfields Program, encourages EPA, states, and local governments to work together to redevelop properties, creates jobs, and provides for economic development.
  • The subcommittee held a legislative hearing on the discussion draft in April.

“These bills represent our multi-year, multi-congress efforts to make targeted reforms to our environmental laws while modernizing them for the 21st century,” said Chairman Shimkus. “These bills are the culmination of multiple hearings and reflect much of the feedback we received during those hearings. Though this doesn’t mean our work is done. Thoughtful legislating often takes time and we need get these bills right so consumers and businesses reap the benefits while we remain good stewards of the environment.”

Electronic copies of the legislation and a background memo can be found on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s website here. Amendment text and votes will be available at the same link as they are posted.

 

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