TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations, and dedicated to promoting, protecting, and defending America’s free enterprise system, strongly supports H.R. 2279, the “Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act of 2013;” H.R. 2318, the “Federal Facility Accountability Act of 2013;” and H.R. 2226, the “Federal and State Partnership for Environmental Protections Act of 2013.” These three bills are well reasoned reform bills aimed at modernizing the Comprehensive Environmental, Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
H.R. 2279 would update RCRA 2002(b) and CERCLA 108(b) by removing two impractical and unnecessary deadlines. In addition, it would ensure that existing state or federal financial assurance requirements are not preempted by requiring a report to Congress outlining the classes of facilities for which EPA intends to issue financial responsibility requirements, the need for such requirements, and a description of existing state and federal requirements that may already cover each class of facilities.
H.R. 2318 would ensure that the federal government is a “good neighbor” when operating a site subject to a superfund cleanup by requiring federal facilities to comply with relevant state and local laws during the superfund process.
H.R. 2226 would codify and increase the role of states in a cleanup process. Specifically, it would codify in the statute current EPA policy that the agency shall consult with states when undertaking any removal action in the state. It also would clarify that EPA must consult with the state throughout the process of selecting a remedial action.
All three of these bills would provide much needed reforms. The Chamber strongly urges you to support H.R. 2279, H.R. 2318, and H.R. 2226.
R. Bruce Josten