There is one summary for S.2503. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (05/04/2000)

Renewable Fuels Act of 2000 - Amends provisions of the Clean Air Act regarding motor vehicle emission and fuel standards to authorize the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to control or prohibit the introduction into commerce, manufacture, or sale of fuels or fuel additives if such a fuel or additive or its emission product causes or contributes to air, water, or soil pollution that may be anticipated to endanger the public health or welfare or the environment (currently, if any emission product causes or contributes to air pollution that may be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare).

Prohibits States or political subdivisions, except as otherwise provided, from prescribing or enforcing any control or prohibition on methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) as a fuel additive in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine for purposes of motor vehicle emission control or water or soil quality protection. Adds water or soil quality protection to the list of purposes for which States may prescribe or enforce controls or prohibitions on fuel or fuel additives in certain circumstances. Requires States seeking to prescribe or enforce such controls or prohibitions for water or soil quality protection (in cases where the State implementation plan for attainment of national ambient air quality standards so provides) to petition the Administrator for authority to take such action. Sets forth criteria for granting such petitions, including that the authority is necessary to protect the environment or public health or welfare or is not likely to have an adverse effect on fuel availability or price that outweighs any benefits associated with the control or prohibition.

Requires the Administrator to promulgate regulations applicable to gasoline refiners, blenders, or importers to ensure that gasoline sold or introduced into commerce in an area after January 1, 2004, has an MTBE content at a level that: (1) may not be reasonably anticipated to endanger natural resources and the public health; and (2) does not exceed the annual average volume of MTBE per gallon of gasoline used in the area before 1995.

(Sec. 3) Authorizes the Administrator to adjust the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) performance standard with respect to the use of reformulated gasoline in specified nonattainment areas in the case of a fuel formulation that achieves reductions in the quantity of mass emissions of carbon monoxide that are greater than or less than the reductions associated with such a gasoline that contains 2.0 percent oxygen by weight and meets other applicable requirements. Bases the adjustment amount on the effect on ozone concentrations of the combined reductions in VOC and carbon monoxide emissions.

Permits the Administrator to waive the oxygen content requirement for reformulated gasoline for any ozone nonattainment area if a State Governor submits an application that: (1) demonstrates that the State is in full compliance with Federal regulations concerning the control and prevention of leaking underground storage tanks (USTs); or (2) provides a plan that outlines the measures the State will take to fully comply with the UST regulations by no later than two years after such application is received.

Limits the aromatic hydrocarbon content of reformulated gasoline to 22 (currently, 25) percent by volume.

Requires the Administrator to revise performance standards regarding reformulated gasoline to ensure that: (1) the ozone-forming potential, taking into account all ozone precursors, of the aggregate emissions during the high ozone season from baseline vehicles when using reformulated gasoline does not exceed such potential of the emissions from such vehicles when using reformulated gasoline that complies with regulations that were in effect on January 1, 2000, and applicable to such gasoline sold in 2000 and subsequent calendar years; and (2) the aggregate emissions of specified pollutants, including toxics, from such vehicles when using such gasoline do not exceed such emissions from such vehicles when using reformulated gasoline that complies with the regulations described in (1).

(Sec. 4) Requires the Administrator, upon the application of a State Governor, to apply prohibitions on the sale of conventional gasoline in covered areas (areas requiring the use of reformulated gasoline), to any nonclassified areas (opt- in areas).

(Sec. 5) Directs the Administrator to promulgate regulations for gasoline renewable source (including biomass ethanol) content requirements applicable to refiners, blenders, or importers. Increases such requirement annually to require a content of 1.3 percent in 2000 and 3.3 percent by 2010 and thereafter. Provides for credits for persons who refine, blend, or import gasoline that contains a quantity of fuel derived from such sources or a quantity of biomass ethanol that exceeds applicable requirements. Authorizes the use or transfer of such credits for compliance purposes.

Permits the Administrator to waive renewable source content requirements on petition by a State and upon determining that: (1) implementation of the requirements would severely harm the U.S. or a State or regional economy or environment; or (2) there is an inadequate domestic supply or distribution capacity to meet such requirements. Terminates waivers after one year but authorizes renewals. Permits renewable source content regulations to provide exemptions for small refiners.

Directs the Administrator to report to Congress on reductions in emissions of criteria air pollutants listed under the Act and greenhouse gases that result from implementation of renewable source content requirements.

Requires the Administrator to promulgate renewable source content regulations applicable to diesel fuel.

Amends Federal highway provisions to provide that for purposes of determining the estimated tax payments attributable to highway users paid into the Highway Trust Fund, the amount paid into the Fund with respect to the sale or gasohol or other fuels containing alcohol by reason of taxes imposed on special fuels or gasoline shall be treated as equal to the amount that would have been imposed without regard to the reduction in revenues resulting from renewable source content regulations under the Clean Air Act and specified Internal Revenue Code provisions concerning alcohol fuels.

(Sec. 6) Changes references to calendar year 1990 to 1999 in reformulated gasoline provisions concerning anti-dumping. Updates the baseline from 1990 to 1999 for purposes of such provisions.

(Sec. 7) Amends the Solid Waste Disposal Act to require the EPA Administrator to distribute to States at least 85 percent of the funds appropriated to EPA from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund for paying reasonable costs incurred under cooperative agreements with States of: (1) certain corrective actions and compensation programs; (2) administrative expenses directly related to such programs; or (3) enforcement of State or local requirements regulating USTs.

Directs the Administrator to: (1) implement a strategy to take corrective action in response to releases from leaking USTs located within the exterior boundaries of an Indian reservation or another area within tribal jurisdiction; and (2) enforce requirements regulating such USTs.

Requires the Administrator to conduct studies to: (1) determine the corrosive effects of MTBE and other widely used fuels and fuel additives on USTs; and (2) assess the potential public health and environmental risks associated with the use of aboveground storage tanks and the effectiveness of State and Federal regulations or voluntary standards to provide adequate public health and environmental protection.

(Sec. 8) Authorizes the Administrator to enter into cooperative agreements with the U.S. Geological Survey, the Department of Agriculture, States, local governments, private landowners, and other interested parties to establish voluntary pilot projects to protect the water quality of private wells and provide technical assistance to users of water from such wells.