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104th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 2d Session                                                     104-791
_______________________________________________________________________


 
              SMALL BUSINESS REGULATORY RELIEF ACT OF 1996
                                _______
                                

 September 17, 1996.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Shuster, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3153]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 3153) to amend title 49, United 
States Code, to exempt from regulation the transportation of 
certain hazardous materials by vehicles with a gross vehicle 
weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon with amendments and recommend 
that the bill as amended do pass.
  The amendments are as follows:
  Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Small Business Regulatory Relief Act 
of 1996''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

  Congress finds that--
          (1) the Secretary of Transportation is considering, as part 
        of a proposed rulemaking, expanding the exceptions provided for 
        transportation of small quantities of hazardous materials from 
        unnecessary and burdensome regulations;
          (2) the Secretary has found that certain businesses, and 
        especially small businesses, carry small quantities of 
        hazardous materials;
          (3) small businesses are critical in creating jobs in the 
        United States economy and can be significantly affected by 
        Federal regulations; and
          (4) regulatory relief for small businesses transporting 
        relatively small quantities of hazardous materials should be 
        promptly acted on and the Secretary has stated an intention to 
        issue a final rule to provide this regulatory relief by 
        December 31, 1996.

SEC. 3. MATERIALS OF TRADE EXCEPTIONS FROM HAZARDOUS MATERIALS 
                    TRANSPORTATION REQUIREMENTS.

  (a) Deadline for Issuance of Final Rule.--Not later than December 31, 
1996, the Secretary of Transportation shall issue, under the rulemaking 
proceeding under docket number HM-200, entitled ``Hazardous Materials 
in Intrastate Transportation'', a final rule relating to materials of 
trade exceptions from chapter 51 of title 49, United States Code, and 
regulations issued pursuant thereto. The final rule shall substantially 
address the materials of trade exceptions contained in the proposed 
rule relating to hazardous materials in intrastate transportation 
published in the Federal Register on March 20, 1996 (61 Fed. Reg. 
11489-11490).
  (b) Effective Date.--The final rule issued under subsection (a) shall 
become effective not later than 90 days after date of publication of 
the final rule.
  (c) Training of Inspectors.--Before the effective date of the final 
rule issued under subsection (a), the Secretary shall provide 
sufficient training of inspectors to provide for implementation of the 
final rule.

  Amend the title so as to read:

      A bill to direct the Secretary of Transportation to issue 
a final rule relating to materials of trade exceptions from 
hazardous materials transportation requirements.

                                purpose

    The purpose of this legislation is to direct the Secretary 
of Transportation to issue no later than December 31, 1996, 
under the rulemaking proceeding under docket number HM-200, a 
final rule relating to materials of trade exceptions from 
hazardous materials regulation.

                          background and need

    On March 20, 1996, the Research and Special Programs 
Administration (RSPA) of the Department of Transportation 
issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking which, in 
part, proposed to provide exceptions from hazardous materials 
regulation for certain small quantities of hazardous materials 
transported and used by carriers in the conduct of their 
businesses. This supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking was 
issued based on comments received in response to a notice of 
proposed rulemaking issued in July 1993, known as HM-200, to 
apply federal hazardous materials regulation to intrastate 
transportation. The Hazardous Materials Transportation Uniform 
Safety Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-615) required the Secretary to 
regulate hazardous materials in intrastate commerce.
    The amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 3153 
adopted by the Committee on September 12, 1996, directs the 
Secretary to issue a final rule pertaining to materials of 
trade exceptions by December 31, 1996. H.R. 3153, as amended, 
applies only to the materials of trade exceptions proposed by 
RSPA in March of 1996 and does not affect other portions of HM-
200. RSPA has proposed that the materials of trade exceptions 
apply to both intrastate and interstate commerce. While the 
materials of trade exceptions would be of great benefit to 
businesses, primarily small businesses, if and when federal 
hazardous materials regulation is extended to intrastate 
transportation, many businesses would enjoy benefits from the 
materials of trade exceptions from current regulation based on 
the materials they carry or the nature of their operations. 
Therefore, should the final rule of HM-200 be delayed beyond 
the end of the year due to controversies unrelated to the 
materials of trade exceptions, H.R. 3153 would ensure that this 
portion of the rulemaking would be issued by December 31, 1996, 
to provide relief to those businesses currently regulated by 
federal hazardous materials requirements.
    The materials of trade exceptions proposed by RSPA would 
allow a gross mass or capacity of not more than 0.5 L (one 
quart) or 0.5 kg (one pound) for Packing Group I material; 30 
kg (66 pounds) for solids or 30 L (8 gallons) for liquids per 
packaging for a Packing Group II or III material or ORM-D 
material; and 75 kg (165 pounds) for a Division 2.1 or 2.2 
material. The aggregate weight of all materials of trade on a 
motor vehicle could not exceed 150 kg (330 pounds). Certain 
materials would be excluded from the exceptions, including 
materials that are self-reactive, poisonous-by-inhalation, or 
assigned specific UN identification numbers associated with 
hazardous materials. Materials of trade would not be subject to 
regulation if, in general, the material is in the original 
packaging or in a packaging of equal or greater strength and 
integrity, and is properly secured; the package is marked to 
indicate the hazardous material it contains; and the operator 
of the motor vehicle is informed of the hazardous material. 
Materials of trade is defined as a hazardous material that is 
carried on a motor vehicle (1) for the purpose of protecting 
the health and safety of the motor vehicle operator or 
passengers; (2) for the purpose of supporting the operation or 
maintenance of the motor vehicle; or (3) by a private motor 
carrier in direct support of a principal business that is other 
than transportation by motor vehicle.
    The public comment period closed on August 16, 1996, and 
RSPA has stated it intends to issue a final rule on HM-200 by 
the end of this year. It should be noted that H.R. 3153, as 
amended, does not prescribe the contents of the final rule and 
does not interfere with the normal rulemaking process and 
procedure. The bill only specifies a date by which the 
rulemaking process concerning the proposed materials of trade 
exceptions must be completed.
    The Committee is aware that comments have been received by 
RSPA regarding bulk packaging and the treatment of hazardous 
materials which may not be regulated when concentrated but when 
diluted in water, become subject to regulation due to the 
volume carried. Also, these materials are used throughout the 
business day so that, although the materials may be subject to 
regulation when the work day begins, as the day progresses and 
the product is used during the course of business, the 
materials no longer may be of adequate amount to trigger 
regulation. The Committee expects that, as RSPA proceeds with 
the materials of trade rulemaking, RSPA will review and 
consider these comments to determine whether any streamlining 
of requirements is appropriate for bulk packaging and diluted 
hazardous materials.
    In addition, the proposed rulemaking contains categorical 
exclusions for certain types of materials. RSPA should review, 
on a case-by-case basis, whether exceptions or reduced 
requirements are justified based on the individual industry and 
material for which the exception is sought and which would not 
diminish safety. For example, the residential swimming pool 
maintenance industry, which uses chlorine gas, has submitted 
comments to RSPA in response to the proposed materials of trade 
rule and petitioned for exemptions on behalf of individual 
companies. All comments in response to HM-200 and requests for 
exemptions under RSPA's authority in sections 5117 of title 49 
should be individually reviewed and considered to determine 
whether reduced regulation is warranted.

                      section-by-section analysis

Sec. 1. Short title

    The Act may be cited as the ``Small Business Regulatory 
Relief Act of 1996.''

Sec. 2. Findings

    This section contains findings regarding the proposed 
rulemaking concerning materials of trade and relief for small 
businesses carrying relatively small amounts of hazardous 
materials.

Sec. 3. Materials of trade exceptions from hazardous materials 
        transportation requirements

    Subsection 3(a) requires that not later than December 31, 
1996, the Secretary of Transportation shall issue a final rule 
relating to materials of trade exceptions from hazardous 
materials regulation. The rule is to be issued under the 
rulemaking proceeding under docket number HM-200 and 
substantially address the materials of trade exceptions 
published in the Federal Register on March 20, 1996 (61 Fed. 
Reg. 11489-11490).
    Subsection 3(b) provides that the final rule on materials 
of trade shall become effective not later than 90 days after 
publication.
    Subsection 3(c) provides that, prior to the effective date 
of the final rule, the Secretary must provide sufficient 
training of inspectors to provide for implementation of the 
final rule.

            committee oversight findings and recommendations

    With respect to the requirements of clause 2(l)(3) of rule 
XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and clause 
2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives, 
no oversight findings or recommendations are included in this 
report.

                     inflationary impact statement

    Pursuant to clause 2(l)(4) of rule XI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the committee estimates that the 
enactment of H.R. 3153 will have no significant inflationary 
impact on prices and costs in the operation of the national 
economy.

                     compliance with house rule xi

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(B) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, H.R. 
3153 does not contain any new budget authority or new credit 
authority.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(D) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee has received no report of oversight findings and 
recommendations from the Committee on Government Reform and 
Oversight on the subject of H.R. 3153.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(C) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the following cost estimate for H.R. 
3153, as amended, from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 13, 1996.
Hon. Bud Shuster,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of 
        Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
reviewed H.R. 3153, the Small Business Regulatory Relief Act of 
1996, as ordered reported by the House Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure on September 12, 1996. CBO 
estimates that implementing H.R. 3153 would cost the federal 
government about $100,000, assuming appropriation of the 
necessary amount. Enacting H.R. 3923 would not affect direct 
spending or receipts; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would 
not apply. H.R. 3153 contains no intergovernmental or private-
sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
of 1995 (Public Law 104-4).
    H.R. 3153 would require the Secretary of Transportation to 
issue--before December 31, 1996--a final rule establishing 
additional exceptions for materials of trade from rules 
governing transportation of hazards materials. Materials of 
trade include hazardous materials carried for protecting the 
health and safety of drivers and passengers, or for operating 
and maintaining vehicles. The bill also would require the 
Secretary to provide training for inspectors to implement the 
final rule.
    CBO estimates that enacting the bill would have no 
significant impact on federal, state, local, or tribal budgets 
because the Department of Transportation already intends to 
issue the final rule within the next year. Based on information 
from the agency, CBO estimates that the cost of training 
inspectors to implement the final rule would be about $100,000.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Clare 
Doherty (for federal costs); Karen McVey (for the state and 
local costs); and Jean Wooster (for the impact on the private 
sector).
            Sincerely,
                                              James L. Blum
                                   (For June E. O'Neill, Director).