Summary: S.1348 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.1348. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (10/30/1997)

Innovative Environmental Strategies Act of 1997 - Authorizes owners or operators of facilities subject to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules, requirements, policies, or practices to submit proposals for innovative environmental strategies for achieving better environmental results to the EPA Administrator. Excludes rules for emissions reductions under the Clean Air Act and certain reporting requirements under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act of 1986 from the definition of "rule."

Authorizes the Administrator to enter into an innovative environmental strategy agreement with a facility upon approval of the proposal and subject to other specified requirements. Permits such agreements to: (1) modify or waive otherwise applicable EPA rules, requirements, policies, or practices; (2) establish new environmental standards for a facility; or (3) establish new requirements not contained in existing rules or statutes. Bars such agreements from contravening the specific terms of a statute. Declares that such agreements should further the purposes of environmental statutes.

Requires the Administrator to establish procedures under which a person other than the owner or operator may cosponsor a proposal. Gives priority to proposals cosponsored by stakeholder groups.

Sets forth requirements for the stakeholder participation process. Permits the Administrator to limit the number of stakeholder participants if it is determined that such participants adequately represent the full range of interests (excluding competitive business interests) that may be affected by the innovative environmental strategy.

Lists conditions for the approval of agreements, including that a strategy is expected to achieve better environmental results. Requires the Administrator to give great weight to stakeholders in determining whether to approve or disapprove a strategy. Sets forth conditions under which the Administrator shall deny a proposal if individual stakeholders object.

Provides that if a proposed strategy involves waiving or modifying requirements under State, tribal, or local law, the Administrator shall not approve an agreement unless procedures required under such laws for waivers or modifications are followed.

Requires agreements to include enforceable requirements and permits agreements to include voluntary commitments. Provides that failure to implement a voluntary commitment constitutes a ground for agreement termination.

Sets forth conditions under which the Administrator may terminate agreements.

Limits agreements to five-year terms, with exceptions. Provides for renewals.

Provides for judicial review of a decision by the Administrator to enter into an agreement.

Limits the number of agreements to 50 and authorizes the Administrator to limit the number to fewer than 50.

Requires the Administrator to: (1) give priority consideration to proposals from small businesses; (2) ensure that agreements reflect proposals from a diversity of industrial sectors; and (3) establish a program to facilitate development of proposals from small businesses.

Sets forth limits on the purposes and uses of agreements.

Directs the Administrator to study and report to the Congress on whether approaches embodied in an innovative environmental strategy should be proposed for incorporation in a statute or regulation. Requires the Administrator to report to the Congress on the aggregate effect of agreements.

Permits the Administrator to provide grants for technical assistance to stakeholder groups.

Authorizes appropriations.