Summary: H.R.3847 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (03/28/1990)

Department of Environmental Protection Act - Title I: Redesignation of Environmental Protection Agency as Department of Environmental Protection - Redesignates the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the Department of Environmental Protection, an executive department to be administered by a Secretary of Environmental Protection. Authorizes individuals to continue to serve in specified EPA positions redesignated under this Act without renomination by the President or reconfirmation by the Senate.

Establishes within the Department: (1) an Office of International Environmental Affairs; (2) an Office of Enforcement; (3) an Office of Pollution Prevention and Recycling; and (4) a Bureau of Environmental Statistics.

Directs the Secretary to increase the number of criminal investigators in the Office of Criminal Investigations in the five fiscal years following the enactment of this Act.

Requires the Administrator to hire 50 civil investigators to assist the Office of Enforcement in developing and prosecuting civil and administrative actions.

Directs the Secretary to establish within the Office of Enforcement the National Enforcement Training Institute to train lawyers, inspectors, investigators, and technical experts in environmental law enforcement.

Establishes the Environmental Laws Enforcement Fund to carry out this Act.

Authorizes appropriations.

Encourages the Secretary to: (1) assist the Secretary of State in negotiating international environmental protection agreements and participating in the work of international environmental protection organizations; and (2) continue the Department's role in conducting international environmental research and providing technical assistance to other nations and international bodies to improve environmental quality.

Requires the Secretary to establish an Advisory Committee on Environmental Statistics to advise the Director of the Bureau of Environmental Statistics and the Congress on the collection and dissemination of statistical data. Provides for annual peer reviews of such data.

Directs the Secretary to maintain a comprehensive guide to the Department's environmental and public health information services.

Requires the Secretary to establish an Advisory Committee on Public Access to provide recommendations on improving public access to departmental information. Directs the Secretary to: (1) study the use of computer telecommunications and other means to provide for access to such information; and (2) permit the reduction or waiver of user fees, under specified conditions, for such access. Requires the Secretary to develop a consistent trade secret policy with respect to such information.

Directs members of advisory bodies utilized by the Department to file annual financial disclosure statements. Provides for public access to such statements. Sets forth a balanced representation requirement for advisory bodies.

Directs the Secretary to promulgate regulations regarding organizational conflicts of interest pertaining to potential awards by the Department of contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, or other arrangements. Prohibits such awards to any person with a potential conflict of interest unless the Secretary determines that: (1) such award is essential to protect the interest of the Government; (2) such conflict has been mitigated to the extent practicable; and (3) such award is otherwise permitted by law.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that the current EPA budget is inadequate and that the President should request for future fiscal years a budget that is adequate to carry out the increased responsibilities of the Department of Environmental Protection.

Title II: Administrative Provisions - Authorizes the Secretary to acquire specified patents, copyrights, and gifts of property for departmental use.

Provides that the EPA seal shall be the official departmental seal until the Secretary approves another seal. Prescribes civil and criminal penalties for unauthorized uses of the seal.

Requires the Secretary to ensure that existing EPA supplies are used to carry out departmental functions before procuring new supplies. Permits the Secretary to procure supplies for the specific use of the Office of the Secretary.

Title III: Commission on Improving Environmental Protection - Establishes the Commission on Improving Environmental Protection to analyze and make recommendations on specified reorganization and management issues in the Department.

Requires the Commission to contract with the National Academy of Sciences to develop recommendations on establishing a National Environmental Research Institute to support research through competitive grants to research teams and individual investigators.

Authorizes appropriations.

Title IV: Study of Effects of Environmental Pollution on Minorities and Low-Income Populations in the United States - Directs the Secretary to request the National Academy of Sciences to study and report to the Congress on: (1) whether U.S. minority and low-income populations are disproportionately impacted by environmental health hazards; and (2) the extent to which Federal environmental programs adequately address the priority environmental needs of such populations, together with recommendations to improve such programs.

Authorizes appropriations.

Title V: Office of Environmental Quality Reauthorization Act - Amends the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to modify provisions regarding the content of environmental impact statements.

Directs the Council on Environmental Quality to promulgate regulations implementing such Act for all Federal agencies.

Requires the Council to establish guidelines for Federal agencies to review and report to the Council on a statistically significant sample of environmental impact statements prepared by such agencies in which measures were specified for the mitigation of the adverse impact on the environment, including fish and wildlife populations and habitat, that was predicted to result from the action. Requires Federal agencies to examine the accuracy and effectiveness of projected adverse impacts and their mitigation.

Requires the Council to issue regulations to require Federal agencies, in their environmental impact statements, to: (1) ensure consideration of the effects of their actions on the environment of the global commons outside the jurisdiction of any nation; and (2) ensure the formal assessment of such effects on the environment outside the jurisdiction of the United States.

Amends the Environmental Quality Improvement Act of 1970 to authorize appropriations for the operations of the Office of Environmental Quality and the Council on Environmental Quality.

Title VI: Federal Facilities Compliance - Federal Facilities Compliance Act of 1990 - Amends the Solid Waste Disposal Act to authorize the EPA Administrator to commence an administrative enforcement action under such Act against any Federal entity or employee responsible for the disposal or management of solid waste.

Requires fines or penalties collected by States for violations of such Act to be used only for projects to improve or protect the environment or to defray the costs of environmental protection or enforcement.

Requires a wastewater treatment works at the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina, that receives and treats a majority of waste generated by a Federal agency to be: (1) considered to be managing a nonhazardous solid waste for purposes of this Act if in compliance with pretreatment program requirements of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act; and (2) subject to enforcement under such Act for any violations of such program requirements.