Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House without amendment (09/19/2012)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

U.S. Agricultural Sector Relief Act of 2012 - Amends the Clean Air Act to require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pursuant to an application submitted by any person, to seek a critical use exemption under the Montreal Protocol to allow the production, importation, and consumption of methyl bromide: (1) for any approved critical use that is determined by the Administrator to be a critical use for the applicant, and (2) in the amount necessary for such use.

Prohibits the Administrator from denying such an application or reducing the amount requested unless the Administrator: (1) has substantial evidence that there is a technically and economically feasible alternative available to the applicant for such use of methyl bromide, and (2) provides such evidence to the applicant in writing. Requires the Administrator, when evaluating the technical and economic feasibility of any alternative, to consider: (1) cost and commercial availability of the alternative, (2) demonstrated effectiveness of the alternative for the applicant's specific intended use, (3) demonstrated effectiveness of the alternative in the geographic region of the applicant's intended use, and (4) state or local regulations that may restrict use of the alternative for the applicant's intended use.

Requires the Administrator, pursuant to an application, to allow the production, importation, and consumption of methyl bromide for any approved critical use in response to an emergency event, in an amount necessary for such use, not to exceed: (1) per emergency event at a specific location, 20 metric tons, or (2) in the aggregate for emergency use in the United Sates in a year, the total amount authorized pursuant to the Montreal Protocol process for critical uses in the United States in calendar year 2011.

Requires the Administrator to ensure that sufficient quantities of methyl bromide are available for research on methyl bromide alternatives for the agricultural sector.

Requires the Administrator to review and adjust as appropriate, any critical use nomination for production, importation, or consumption of methyl bromide in the United States that has been submitted to the Parties to the Montreal Protocol if: (1) a methyl bromide alternative is removed from the U.S. market; and (2) on the basis of the availability of such alternative, the Administrator denied, or reduced the amount requested under, any application for production, importation, or consumption of methyl bromide for the year covered by such nomination.