H.R. 6194, U.S. Agriculture Sector Relief Act of 2012

Cost Estimate
August 22, 2012

As ordered reported by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on August 1, 2012

H.R. 6194 would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to seek critical-use exemptions under the Montreal Protocol for applications submitted to the agency for the production, importation, and consumption of methyl bromide.

Methyl bromide is a chemical compound commonly used in pesticides, though its use has been mostly phased out since 2005 under the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty to reduce ozone-depleting substances. Under the Clean Air Act (CAA), EPA may grant critical-use exemptions for methyl bromide producers, importers, and users after consulting with the other parties to the Montreal Protocol. H.R. 6194 would prohibit EPA from denying critical-use applications for methyl bromide unless EPA has substantial evidence that there is a better alternative for this chemical. This legislation also would expand producers’ ability to claim emergency exemptions for limited amounts of methyl bromide.

To implement those changes related to the use of methyl bromide under the CAA, EPA would need to issue regulations and establish a methyl bromide emergency program. Based on information from EPA, CBO estimates that developing and issuing such regulations and administering a new program would cost less than $500,000 annually over the 2013-2017 period, subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

Pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply to H.R. 6194 because the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues.

H.R. 6194 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.