July 10, 2013
As ordered reported by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on June 19, 2013
H.R. 2318 would amend the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) as it relates to federal facilities. Under the bill, federal agencies would be required to comply with state requirements when conducting response actions under CERCLA at federal facilities or facilities formerly owned by the federal government. H.R. 2318 also would explicitly waive the federal government’s sovereign immunity from administrative orders, injunctive relief, and civil and administrative penalties issued by states under CERCLA. In addition, the bill would permit states to charge federal agencies for costs associated with permitting, document review, inspections, and other activities related to a state’s response actions at hazardous sites. Finally, H.R. 2318 would authorize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review actions taken by other federal agencies under CERCLA.
CBO estimates that enacting this legislation could increase the pace of discretionary spending to the extent that federal agencies accelerate spending related to cleanup activities or pay additional fines and penalties imposed by states. However, CBO expects that aggregate, long-term costs to fulfill federal responsibilities under CERCLA would be little changed under the legislation.
In addition, H.R. 2318 could increase direct spending to the extent that fines and penalties were paid from the Treasury’s Judgment Fund. However, CBO expects that any incremental spending from that fund would probably be insignificant. Because the bill would affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures apply; however, CBO estimates that any additional direct spending over the 2014-2023 period would be insignificant.
H.R. 2318 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.