Senate EPW Approves Six Bills, EPA Nomination, 33 GSA Resolutions
WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R–Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, praised the committee passage of six bills, one U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPW) nomination, and 33 GSA resolutions today after a Senate EPW full committee markup:
“I applaud the passage of these bills and am proud that my committee continues to work tirelessly for hardworking Americans across the country. The committee provided strong bipartisan support for the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act with a vote of 17 to three. This bill would direct the NRC to develop ‘technology-inclusive’ regulatory processes in an effort to support the growth of a new, exciting nuclear industry. Our committee unanimously supported the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act to reauthorize the DERA program to 2021 and to provide federal and state grants to support rebuilding diesel engines or installing emission reduction systems to diesel vehicles to comply with state and federal emission requirements. The committee also unanimously supported a reauthorization of the Brownfields program, which would extend this successful program through 2018 and would help to support job creation and promote economic development for local communities throughout the United States. I am working with my colleagues to ensure all of these bills are enacted into law this year.”
Passed out of committee was the following:
The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2016 was first introduced on April 19 by Inhofe and Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) to extend the DERA program to 2021. DERA is a voluntary program that provides federal and state grants to incentivize equipment and vehicle owners to install retrofit technologies on existing heavy-duty diesel vehicles and engines, or replace engines and equipment. DERA has a history of strong bipartisan support including in 2005, passage by 92 to 1 and in 2010, passage by unanimous consent. DERA is one of the most cost-effective federal clean air programs, which according to EPA’s most recent estimate, has upgraded nearly 73,000 vehicles or pieces of equipment and saved over 450 million gallons of fuel.
The Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act was first introduced on April 13 by Inhofe and Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). S. 2795, the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act, modernizes the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) by establishing new transparency and accountability measures to the NRC’s budget and fee programs as well as to develop the regulatory framework necessary to enable the licensing of advanced nuclear reactors.
The Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development Act of 2015 (BUILD Act) was introduced on June 2, 2015 as S. 1479 by Inhofe and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and passed out of the EPW Committee today on a voice vote without amendment. The Build Act is cosponsored by Booker, Boxer, Crapo, Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Whitehouse, Carper, and Sen. Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.). The BUILD Act makes several enhancements to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields program, including (1) prioritizing technical assistance grants for Brownfields projects in small communities, Indian tribes, rural areas, and disadvantaged areas, (2) authorizing grants to locate clean energy projects at Brownfields sites, and (3) expanding funding eligibility for governmental entities that did not cause or contribute to the contamination. The BUILD Act also was added by voice vote as an amendment to S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, which passed the Senate on April 20, 2016,by a vote of 85 to 12. A similar version of the BUILD Act passed out of the EPW Committee on a voice vote in the 113th Congress.
The Delaware River Basin Conservation Act of 2015 (S. 921) directs the Secretary of the Interior to establish a non-regulatory Delaware River Basin Restoration Program. The Delaware River Basin is located within the States of Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The restoration program is to draw on existing and new management plans for the Basin and work in consultation with applicable management entities; adopt a basin-wide strategy to support implementation of a shared set of restoration and protection activities and support cost-effective and measurable conservation efforts; establish a grant program; and provide technical assistance. The purpose of the program is to coordinate restoration and protection activities among Federal, State, local, and regional entities and conservation partners throughout the Basin.
A bill to provide funds to the Army Corps of Engineers to hire veterans and members of the Armed Forces to assist the Corps with curation and historic preservation activities, and for other purposes. (H.R. 3114)
A bill to designate the Federal building and United States courthouse located at 300 Fannin Street in Shreveport, Louisiana, as the “Tom Stagg Federal Building and United States Court House.” (S.2754)
Nomination of Jane Nishida to be EPA Assistant Administrator of the Office of International and Tribal Affairs
Ms. Nishida has been nominated to serve as Assistant Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of International and Tribal Affairs (OITA). She currently holds the position of Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for that office. Previously, she was the Director of the Office of Regional and Bilateral Affairs within OITA. Prior to joining the EPA in 2011, she was the Senior Environmental Institutions Specialist for The World Bank and has also worked at the state level in Maryland in various capacities for 14 years.
33 GSA resolutions