June 28, 2013
As ordered reported by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on June 19, 2013 H.R. 2218 would provide for the management and disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCR) under subtitle D of the Solid Waste Disposal Act, also known as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). (CCR consists of inorganic residues that remain after pulverized coal is burned.) Consistent with subtitle D of RCRA, this legislation would allow states to create and enforce their own CCR permit programs while providing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with limited authority to review states’ permit programs. However, H.R. 2218 would enable EPA to directly regulate CCR in states that fail to set up their own programs or in states where the permit program is determined to be deficient and is not subsequently remedied by the state. CBO estimates that implementing this legislation would cost $2 million over the 2014-2018 period, subject to the availability of appropriated funds. Enacting H.R. 2218 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. H.R. 2218 would impose intergovernmental mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) by expanding an existing preemption of state laws that regulate greenhouse gases from motor vehicles and by requiring states to notify EPA whether they will adopt and implement a permit program for CCR. The bill also would impose an intergovernmental and private-sector mandate on owners and operators of structures that receive CCR by establishing minimum federal requirements for the management and disposal of CCR. Based on information from EPA, a small number of public entities would be required to comply with the federal standards, and CBO estimates that the cost for those entities to comply would fall below UMRA’s annual threshold for intergovernmental mandates ($75 million in 2013, adjusted annually for inflation). However, given the number of private-sector entities that would need to take corrective action and the costs to comply, CBO estimates that the cost of the mandates would probably exceed the annual threshold established in UMRA for private-sector mandates ($150 million in 2013, adjusted annually for inflation).