H.R.2853 - San Gabriel Basin Demonstration Project Act103rd Congress (1993-1994)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Torres, Estaban Edward [D-CA-34] (Introduced 08/04/1993)|
|Committees:||House - Energy and Commerce; Public Works and Transportation|
|Latest Action:||House - 09/03/1993 Referred to the Subcommittee on Transportation and Hazardous Materials. (All Actions)|
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Text: H.R.2853 — 103rd Congress (1993-1994)All Information (Except Text)
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Introduced in House (08/04/1993)
[Congressional Bills 103th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 2853 Introduced in House (IH)] 103d CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 2853 To amend the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (Superfund) to establish a public-private partnership demonstration project for the cleanup of groundwater pollution in the San Gabriel Basin. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES August 4, 1993 Mr. Torres (for himself, Mr. Becerra, Mr. Berman, Mr. Beilenson, Mr. Brown of California, Mr. Calvert, Mr. Cunningham, Mr. Dellums, Mr. Dixon, Mr. Dooley, Mr. Doolittle, Mr. Dornan, Mr. Dreier, Mr. Edwards of California, Ms. Eshoo, Mr. Farr of California, Mr. Fazio, Mr. Filner, Mr. Gallegly, Mr. Hamburg, Ms. Harman, Mr. Horn, Mr. Huffington, Mr. Hunter, Mr. Kim, Mr. Lantos, Mr. Lehman, Mr. Lewis of California, Mr. Martinez, Mr. Matsui, Mr. McCandless, Mr. Miller of California, Mr. Mineta, Mr. Moorhead, Mr. Packard, Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Rohrabacher, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Ms. Schenk, Mr. Stark, Mr. Thomas of California, Ms. Waters, and Ms. Woolsey) introduced the following bill; which was referred jointly to the Committees on Energy and Commerce and Public Works and Transportation _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To amend the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (Superfund) to establish a public-private partnership demonstration project for the cleanup of groundwater pollution in the San Gabriel Basin. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``San Gabriel Basin Demonstration Project Act''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. The Congress finds the following: (1) The San Gabriel Basin presents a unique set of environmental problems. (2) The San Gabriel Valley is an area of 195 square miles located approximately 10 to 20 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles in Los Angeles County. It is the home of 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 people who rely on the groundwater of the San Gabriel Basin for their primary drinking water. (3) The San Gabriel Basin is the most heavily contaminated potable groundwater basin in the United States. (4) The groundwater in the San Gabriel Basin is heavily contaminated with toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), and carbon tetrachloride (CTC). The contamination levels vary throughout the Valley. (5) Four separate areas of contamination in the San Gabriel Basin are listed on the National Priority List (NPL) of Superfund. The areas where the VOC contamination exceeds drinking water standards covers approximately 30 to 40 square miles. (6) The VOCs in the San Gabriel Basin have been generated by hundreds of commercial and industrial facilities scattered throughout the San Gabriel Valley, over a period of more than 30 years. (7) The San Gabriel Basin is also heavily contaminated with nitrates as a result of hundreds of years of agriculture and ranching in the Valley as well as from industrial and residential septic systems. (8) Once contaminated, groundwater is very difficult to clean up. (9) A plume of polluted groundwater will migrate and spread contaminants wherever it flows. The many areas of groundwater contamination throughout the San Gabriel Basin move at different rates and in different directions, depending on the density of the contaminants, the character of the aquifer, and the local flow patterns. In the San Gabriel Basin, flow patterns may be changing directions due to fluctuating pumping rates throughout the Basin and other factors. (10) Complicating the cleanup in the San Gabriel Basin is the fact that 45 different water purveyors take water from the basin. (11) Because the groundwater flows under hundreds of different facilities, apportioning responsibility could be very complicated and could ultimately be a very litigious process. (12) There are approximately 275 public water supply wells in the San Gabriel Basin. Eighty wells have contamination levels exceeding current Federal drinking water standards. Some of these wells have been abandoned and replaced with new wells in clean areas. In other contaminated wells, pumping continues but the groundwater is blended with clean water so that distributed water meets the drinking water standards. (13) The San Gabriel Basin presents a unique opportunity for the community to solve a difficult problem, by working together with the Federal Government in a public-private partnership. SEC. 3. SAN GABRIEL BASIN DEMONSTRATION PROJECT. Title I of the Comprehensive Envrionmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (Superfund) is amended by adding at the end the following new section: ``SEC. 127. SAN GABRIEL BASIN DEMONSTRATION PROJECT. ``(a) Treatment of Water.--(1) As promptly as practicable after the date of enactment of this section but not later than 6 months after such date, the Administrator shall enter into one or more cooperative agreements or contracts with the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority, or a successor public agency, (hereinafter in this Act referred to as the `Authority') to provide water treatment to remove volatile organic compounds from the groundwater in the San Gabriel Basin. In the case of the projects described in paragraph (3)(B), the contracts or cooperative agreements shall also include the Water Replenishment District of Southern California and the Central Basin Municipal Water District. Implementation of such contracts or cooperative agreements shall be contingent upon a determination by the Administrator that the preconditions of subsection (b) have been met. ``(2) The Authority may contract with other public agencies to provide water treatment services or facilities or related services and facilities, subject to approval by the Administrator and pursuant to the decision rendered in Los Angeles Superior Court Case #924128, Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District v. City of Alhambra, et al. ``(3) Contracts or cooperative agreements under this subsection shall be consistent, insofar as possible, with the April 17, 1990 draft Basin-Wide Technical Plan prepared by the Administrator, and shall include but not be limited to the following elements: ``(A) Baldwin park.--Proposed capital expenditures in the vicinity of Baldwin Park over the next 10 years, including $4,500,000 for monitoring wells, $14,500,000 for up to 7 wellhead treatment plants, and $136,000,000 for a conjunctive- use plant designed to clean up the Basin and at the same time allow utilization of the basin as a storage facility which will increase reliability of water supplies in Southern California. Such expenditures shall include a water supply component jointly funded by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the Bureau of Reclamation (as authorized by Public Law 102-579), and a VOC clean-up component funded by the Project. Proposed operating costs for these projects will increase gradually to about $32,000,000 per year at the end of the 10-year period. ``(B) Whittier narrows.--Proposed capital expenditures, including $1,000,000 for engineering assessment, $3,000,000 for monitoring wells, $11,500,000 for wellhead projects, and $20,000,000 for regional treatment plants to prevent contaminated groundwater from moving from the San Gabriel Basin toward the Central Basin through the Whittier Narrows and proposed operating costs for such projects which at the end of the 10-year period equal approximately $3,000,000 per year. ``(C) Puente basin area.--Proposed capital expenditures which include $2,000,000 for engineering assessments, $3,000,000 for monitoring wells, and $10,000,000 for regional plants in the Puente Valley area to extract and treat highly contaminated groundwater to meet water supply needs and proposed operating costs for such projects which, at the end of the 10-year period will equal approximately $2,000,000 per year. ``(D) Arcadia, el monte, monrovia, glendora.--Proposed capital expenditures in these areas, including $3,000,000 for monitoring wells and $7,500,000 for up to 5 wellhead treatment plants and proposed operating costs for such projects which will equal about $2,000,000 per year at the end of the 10-year period. Federal funds made available under provisions of law other than this section or other provisions of this Act for any expenditure referred to in subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), or (D) shall not be treated as costs of remedial action recoverable under section 107(a)(4)(A) of this Act. ``(4) Contracts or cooperative agreements under this subsection shall provide for consultation with-- ``(A) the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, ``(B) the Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster, ``(C) the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, ``(D) the Three Valleys Municipal Water District, ``(E) the Central Basin Municipal Water District, ``(F) the Water Replenishment District of Southern California, ``(G) the San Gabriel Valley Protective Association, ``(H) the San Gabriel River Watermaster, ``(I) the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, ``(J) the California State Water Resources Control Board, and ``(K) the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles Region. ``(5) If the Basin-Wide Technical Plan is published in final form after the date on which any contract or cooperative agreement under this subsection is entered into, the contract or cooperative agreement shall be modified by the parties to the extent necessary to be consistent with the plan. Pursuant to such contract or cooperative agreement, the Authority shall provide treatment for water withdrawn from the Basin by qualified public water systems unless otherwise provided by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. ``(6) No contract or cooperative agreement entered into under this subsection shall take effect unless the Administrator determines that all preconditions for implementing the treatment project under this subsection have been met, as provided in subsection (b), before the date 30 months after the enactment of this section. ``(7) In providing water treatment under this subsection and apportioning costs under this section, the Administrator and the Authority shall give credit for costs incurred in the design, construction, and operation of any previously approved project undertaken with respect to the Basin and shall take appropriate steps to ensure continuity. ``(b) Preconditions for Implementation of Treatment Project.--(1) No water treatment shall be provided pursuant to any contract or cooperative agreement under subsection (a) until the Administrator, in consultation with the Authority, finds that-- ``(A) a sufficient number (at least 65%) of the persons notified by the Administrator under this Act prior to the date 6 months after the enactment of this section that they may be potentially responsible parties have entered into long-term cost-sharing contracts with the Administrator under this subsection; and ``(B) those contracts are sufficient to provide annual payment for at least 50 percent of the total costs incurred by the Administrator after the date of the enactment of this section in carrying out water treatment under subsection (a). ``(2) The contracts with participating parties under this subsection shall also require that each participating party entering into such a contract will-- ``(A) conduct an environmental site assessment in accordance with subsection (i) of the property owned or operated by that party by reason of which such party has been designated as a potentially responsible party, and ``(B) carry out all removal and remedial action required with respect to hazardous substances in the soil above the water table on such property, to the extent necessary to comply with the standards under section 121. ``(3) Any person, including potentially responsible parties identified by the Administrator after the date 6 months after the enactment of this section, as well as all local government entities within the San Gabriel Basin, who submits a request to the Administrator to participate in the project under this section shall be offered the opportunity to enter into cost sharing contracts under this section and those who enter into such contracts shall be treated as a participating party for purposes of this section. ``(4) Each person desiring to participate under this section shall enter into a contract under this section within 90 days after the date on which the contract is offered by the Administrator to such party. ``(5) The annual payment by each participating party shall be made in accordance with an appropriate schedule of periodic payments established by the Administrator and the Authority to coincide with the funding necessary to carry out this section. Each participating party shall be given the opportunity to fund its periodic payment liability on a present value basis by entering into a structured settlement arrangement. If a participating party funds its periodic payment liability through a structured settlement arrangement, the Authority shall be named as the owner and payee of the funding instrument at the time of the purchase of the instrument. Any such arrangement is subject to the approval of the Administrator and the Authority, particularly as to the schedule of payments and the licensed insurance company utilized for these purposes. A participating party may enter into a structured settlement arrangement as a single entity, or may enter into such an arrangement with other participating parties. Except as provided in subsection (c)(5), if a structured settlement arrangement is established pursuant to the provisions of this section, the participating party to whom the settlement relates shall be released from any and all further liability with respect to the settlement. ``(6) No court shall have jurisdiction to review any challenge to the removal or remedial action selected in any contract or cooperative agreement under this section. ``(c) Cost Sharing.--(1) Six months after the enactment of this section, the Administrator shall notify each potentially responsible party and each other person who has submitted notice to the Administrator under subsection (b)(4) of the Administrator's intention to allocate the total costs incurred by the Administrator for water treatment under subsection (a). Within 60 days after the Administrator notifies such potentially responsible parties and other persons, any such parties and other persons desiring to become participating parties shall so notify the Administrator and agree to provide the Administrator with such information as the Administrator deems necessary to allocate costs among participating parties under this subsection. If the Administrator deems the information provided by any such person to be insufficient to permit the Administrator to make cost allocations under this subsection, the Administrator designate such person as ineligible to be a participating party. If the parties and other persons notified by the Administrator agree on an allocation of costs among themselves within 180 days after the expiration of such 60- day period, the Administrator shall allocate costs in accordance with such agreement. If such parties fail to reach an agreement for cost allocation within such 180-day period, within 30 days after the expiration of such 180-day period the Administrator shall allocate costs in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3). ``(2) In allocating costs to each participating party as provided in paragraph (1), the Administrator shall make 2 allocations. The first allocation shall allocate only those costs associated with the specific zone of contamination located in proximity to the participating party. The allocation shall be made among all participating parties located in proximity to such zone, pursuant to the formula established by the Administrator under paragraph (3). The second allocation shall allocate those costs not associated with specific zones of contamination. The allocation shall be made among all participating parties, pursuant to the formula established by the Administrator under paragraph (3). ``(3) When no agreement has been reached pursuant to paragraph (1), the Administrator shall establish a formula for allocating costs under this subsection. The formula shall require that the share of the total costs to be paid by a participating party shall be based upon the following factors: ``(A) The Standard Industrial Code Number (as determined by the Secretary of Commerce) of the participating party and the Administrator's estimate of the likelihood that industrial operations having that SIC Number contributed to contamination of the Basin. ``(B) The revenues attributable to the participating party's facility in the San Gabriel Valley in a baseline year established by the Administrator. ``(C) The ability of the participating party to pay. ``(D) Prior expenditures made by the participating party for groundwater mediation in the Basin (not including any costs of litigation or other attorney's fees). ``(4) In allocating costs under this subsection the Administrator shall also allocate a share of the total costs of carrying out the water treatment project under subsection (a) to potentially responsible parties who do not agree to become participating parties under this section. The Administrator shall recover cost from such nonparticipating parties pursuant to other provisions of this Act. The total of all shares contributed by participating parties under this subsection shall not be more than 80 percent of the total costs of carrying out the water treatment project authorized under subsection (a), except as provided in paragraph (5). ``(5) At the time the Administrator enters into a contract or cooperative agreement with the Authority under subsection (a), the Administrator shall estimate the total costs expected to be incurred by the Administrator under subsection (a). Each contract with a participating party under this section shall provide that the maximum obligation of that participating party under such contract shall not exceed 200 percent of that participating party's share of such estimated total costs. ``(6) Amounts received from participating parties shall be paid to the Authority and deposited in an interest bearing account which shall be available only for purposes of the water treatment project carried out under subsection (a). ``(d) Level of Treatment.--The water treatment provided pursuant to contracts and cooperative agreements under this section shall be adequate to insure that the treated water will comply with the most stringent standards applicable to drinking water under title XIV of the Public Health Service Act (the Safe Drinking Water Act) or under any provision of State law governing drinking water quality. ``(e) Recovery of Federal Share of Cost.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator such sums as may be necessary to cover 20 percent of the total costs of carrying out the water treatment project carried out under subsection (a). For purposes of section 107, the Federal share of costs made available pursuant to this subsection shall be included as costs of remedial action within the meaning of section 107(a)(4)(A) which are recoverable by the United States Government in an action under section 107 against potentially responsible parties who are not participating parties. For purposes of section 107 all actions taken by the Administrator and the Authority in conformity with this section shall be deemed to have been taken in conformity with the National Contingency Plan. ``(f) Exemption From Other Liability.--No participating party making contributions pursuant to an agreement under this section and complying with subsection (b)(2) shall be liable, under any other provision of this Act or the Solid Waste Disposal Act or under any State statutory laws or rules of common law, for the costs of any removal or remediation with respect to hazardous substances released into the San Gabriel Basin, or for costs or damages to natural resources associated with such Basin, to the extent such release occurred before the enactment of this section and is identified in a site assessment, and no participating party shall be required to abate any such prior release of any hazardous substances into the Basin (except to the extent required by subsection (b)(2)(B)). The exemption provided by the preceding sentence for any participating party shall cease to apply to such participating party upon a determination by the Administrator that such participating party-- ``(1) has failed or refused to make any portion of the contribution required of such party pursuant to an agreement under this section, ``(2) has failed or refused to carry out the activities required under subsection (b)(2), or ``(3) has filed a suit against another person for contribution of costs as described in subsection (f). ``(g) Contribution.--No participating party may bring an action against any other person to require such other person to contribute any part of the costs required to be paid to the Administrator by such participating party under this section. ``(h) Relationship To Other Laws.--Except as provided in subsection (f), nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the liability of any person under any other provision of this Act or under any other provision of law with respect to hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants in the San Gabriel Basin. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the authority of the Administrator to carry out removal or remedial action or any other response action with respect to such hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants in addition to the demonstration project authorized by this section. ``(i) Liability Exemption for Public Water Systems.--Neither the owner or operator of a qualified public water system shall be liable under any provision of Federal statutory or common law affording rights of contribution for costs or damages in any suit for recovery of costs for a removal or remedial action with respect to hazardous substances in the San Gabriel Basin if such a suit is brought by a potentially responsible party that is not a participating party under this section. ``(j) Comprehensive Environmental Compliance Program.-- ``(1) General requirements.--To qualify as a participating party under this section, a potentially responsible party must establish a Comprehensive Environmental Compliance Program and agree to conduct an Environmental Site Assessment. ``(2) Registered environmental assessors.--The Comprehensive Environmental Compliance Program and Environmental Site Assessment shall be prepared, signed, and dated by a registered civil engineer or registered geologist in accordance with State law, and the Program shall be certified by a person who is capable of committing the financial resources necessary to implement the Program, such as the owner, operator, or responsible corporate officer, or in the case of a government agency, a principal executive official or a ranking elected official. ``(3) Content of environmental site assessment.--The Environmental Site Assessment required under this section shall contain-- ``(A) an evaluation of practices and procedures established by the current owner or operator of the facility for which the assessment is conducted to-- ``(i) ensure continuing compliance with applicable environmental requirements; and ``(ii) identify and implement hazardous waste reduction opportunities for the facility. ``(B) the results of Level I Preliminary Assessment (noninvasive investigation and regulatory search), and if site conditions warrant, the Level II Assessment (invasive sampling for suspected hazardous materials and preparation of remedial design specifications) and the Level III Assessment (on-site remediation); and ``(C) demonstration of compliance with all applicable State and Federal laws, such as, but not limited to the `Community Right-to-Know Act' and `California Hazardous Waste Reduction Act and Management Review' (SB 14); ``(4) Copies.--Copies of each environmental site assessment shall be provided to the Administrator and the appropriate State official. ``(k) Definitions.--As used in this section-- ``(1) Qualified public water system.--The term `qualified public water system' means a `public water system', as defined in title XIV of the Public Health Service Act (the Safe Drinking Water Act), which is entitled, as of May 15, 1991, to withdraw water from or store water in the San Gabriel Valley Groundwater Basin, as determined under State law. ``(2) Basin.--The terms `San Gabriel Basin' and `the Basin' mean the San Gabriel Valley Groundwater Basin underlying the San Gabriel Valley in Los Angeles County, California. ``(3) Potentially responsible party.--The term `potentially responsible party' means a person who is identified by the Administrator as a person who may be liable under section 107, or under any provision of State law, for any amount with respect to cleanup of hazardous substances in the San Gabriel Basin. ``(4) Participating party.--The term `participating party' means a person who has requested to participate as provided in subsection (b)(4) and who has entered into a contract with the Administrator under subsection (b). ``(5) Structured settlement arrangement.--The term ``structured settlement arrangement'' means an arrangement where the Authority owns-- ``(A) a settlement annuity or similar instrument issued by a company licensed to do business as an insurance company under the laws of any State which has a financial stability rating from a nationally recognized insurance company rating organization which rating is satisfactory to the Administrator, or ``(B) any obligation of the United States, that has a defined schedule of periodic payments which coincides with the schedule of periodic payments determined to be appropriate for the Basin cleanup.'', or ``(C) or the authority is the beneficiary of a `qualified designated settlement fund' as defined by subsection 468(B) of the Internal Revenue Code.''. <all> HR 2853 IH----2