Summary: H.R.5660 — 96th Congress (1979-1980)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.5660. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (10/19/1979)

Title I: Findings, Purposes, and Definitions - Declares that the purpose of this Act is to provide for a coordinated, simplified, and prompt process for obtaining Federal, State, and local approval of nonnuclear energy facilities which are determined to be in the national interest.

Title II: Priority Projects - Authorizes the President to establish an Energy Mobilization Board to be composed of members appointed by the President. Sets forth the general duties and powers of such Board, including the subpoena power.

Directs the Board to keep the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the House Committees on Interior and Insular Affairs and on Interstate and Foreign Commerce fully and currently informed concerning its activities, including the submission of an annual report.

Stipulates that projects related to the production of nuclear energy or approved under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies of 1978 be excluded from coverage under this Act.

Directs the Board to designate Priority Energy Projects and to publish a Project Decision Schedule containing deadlines for all Federal actions relating to such projects.

Directs the Board to provide the appropriate committees with a copy of such designation orders.

Sets forth the criteria the Board must consider in making such designations, including: (1) the extent to which the energy project would reduce the Nation's dependence upon nonrenewable resources; (2) the magnitude of any economic and social impacts and costs associated with the project in relation to the impacts and costs of alternatives; (3) the extent to which the project would make use of renewable energy resources, or conserve energy; (4) the extent to which the project would contribute to the development of new production or conservation technologies and techniques; (5) adverse impacts on the environment and on competition; and other specified criteria.

Directs the Board to notify the Governor of each State in which any portion of a project designated as a Priority Energy Project is proposed to be located. Permits such Governor to appoint a non-voting Member to the Board to participate in decisions concerning such project, including the Project Decision Schedule.

Exempts priority energy project designations or refusals to make a designation, promulgation or revision of Project Decision Schedules, and Board actions relating to streamlining of procedures, from the impact statement requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).

Directs the Council on Environmental Quality to determine whether any Federal action relating to a Priority Energy Project, after it has been so designated and prior to establishing the Project Schedule, will be a "major Federal action" for purposes of compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Requires the Council to designate a lead agency to assure compliance with NEPA whenever a major Federal action is involved.

Authorizes the Board to require that one environmental impact statement be prepared and that such statement be used by all Federal agencies to satisfy NEPA with respect to such projects.

Authorizes the Board to extend the time for certain deadlines.

Requires each agency having authority to make any agency decision with respect to any part of a project designated as a Priority Energy Project to transmit to the Board: (1) a compilation of all significant actions required to be taken by such agency and by the applicant before such decision can be made and a summary of procedural requirements applicable to such actions; (2) a tentative schedule for completing such actions and making such decisions; and (3) a statement of administrative requirements to take such actions.

Directs the Board to publish a Project Decision Schedule within 45 days of the transmittal of agency information. Stipulates that such schedule: (1) identify the order in which decisions which must be made by each agency are to be made; (2) identify the deadlines applicable to such decisions; (3) be consistent with the tentative schedules transmitted to the Board, unless the Board determines a different schedule is essential to expedite and coordinate agency review; and (4) be binding on the agency and on all other persons to which the Schedule applies.

Permits the Board to modify any schedule applicable to any agency's decision or action subject to the Project Decision Schedule upon petition of such agency where the agency determines such modification will facilitate agency compliance with the Schedule.

Permits affected agencies to consolidate proceedings related to actions and decisions subject to the Project Decision Schedule, if such streamlined procedures provide for effective participation by interested parties in such decisionmaking.

Directs the Board to monitor compliance with the Schedule by all affected agencies and persons. Permits the Board to take such actions as it deems appropriate to bring any person or agency responsible for a project delay into compliance with the Schedule.

Directs the Board, when any person responsible for filing or taking any other action on behalf of a Project refuses to take such action, to either revise such Project Decision Schedule or revoke the Priority Energy Project designation.

Stipulates that, unless otherwise provided for, the other statutory obligations and authority of any independent regulatory agency remain unaffected by this Act.

Authorizes the Board to bring an expedited enforcement action against any agency failing to or reasonably likely to fail to comply with a Project Decision Schedule in the appropriate United States district court. Directs such court to issue specified orders requiring compliance with such Schedule and to take any necessary measures, including citation and punishment of the responsible officials for contempt of court, for failure to meet any court-imposed deadlines.

Authorizes the President to perform any action or make any decision required of an agency by court order in the event such agency fails to perform such action or make such decision.

Authorizes the Board to order the temporary suspension of the application of any requirement of Federal, State, or local law enacted or promulgated after the commencement of construction of any facility which is part of a Priority Project where it is determined that such requirement could prevent timely completion or operation of such facility and that such temporary suspension would not create any significant public health or safety risks. Sets forth time limits on such suspension orders and exempts specified requirements from being suspended.

Stipulates that nothing in this Act shall expand or confer on the United States any right to acquire water rights nor alter any provisions of State law or interstate compact governing water use.

States that Board action granting or denying designation orders or suspending Federal, State, or local requirements of law shall be subject to judicial review only for failure to comply with this Act or for constitutional violations. Provides for judicial review of other Board actions as specified. Requires that any reviewing court expedite and consolidate such review to the maximum extent practicable.

Requires that any party seeking Supreme Court review of any judgment or order of a circuit court of appeals pursuant to this Act must file a petition for a writ of certiorari within 60 days of the decision of the lower court or such appeal shall be barred.

Sets a 60-day time limit for the promulgation of regulations for carrying out this Act.

Terminates the Board's authority seven years after the date of enactment of this Act. Directs the Board to prepare and submit to the President and the Congress a comprehensive report of its activities during such period. Directs the Comptroller General of the United States to submit to the Congress a report evaluating the performance of the Board and setting forth findings and recommendations with respect to the program authorized under this Act.

Authorizes appropriations for fiscal year 1980 and succeeding fiscal years to carry out this Act.