Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


111th Congress                                                   Report
  2d Session              HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES              111-539
                                                      
=======================================================================
 
          DISCHARGES INCIDENTAL TO NORMAL OPERATION OF VESSELS 

                                _______
                                

 July 15, 2010.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 5301]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 5301) to extend the period during 
which the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency 
and States are prohibited from requiring a permit under section 
402 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act for certain 
discharges that are incidental to normal operation of vessels, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                       Purpose of the Legislation

    H.R. 5301 extends the existing moratorium for an owner or 
operator of a vessel less than 79 feet in length or a fishing 
vessel to obtain a Federal Water Pollution Control Act permit 
for discharges incidental to the normal operation of such 
vessel until December 18, 2013.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    In July 2008, Congress enacted a two-year moratorium for an 
owner or operator of a vessel less than 79 feet in length or a 
fishing vessel (as defined in section 2101 of title 46 United 
States Code) to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge 
Elimination System (NPDES) permit (under section 402 of the 
Act) for discharges incidental to the normal operation of such 
vessel. P.L. 110-299.
    P.L. 110-299 also directed the Administrator of the 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in consultation with the 
U.S. Coast Guard, to conduct a study to evaluate the impacts of 
discharges incidental to the normal operation of commercial and 
charter fishing vessels and other commercial vessels less than 
79 feet long. The results of this study will be used to 
determine whether and how various incidental discharges will be 
addressed by EPA through the Clean Water Act.
    The two-year moratorium expires on July 31, 2010. While EPA 
has made the determination that incidental discharges from 
covered vessels are not universally benign, EPA has 
acknowledged that it will be unable to develop and issue NPDES 
permits for incidental discharges from vessels less than 79 
feet in length or fishing vessels before the current moratorium 
expires.
    By extending the current moratorium through December 18, 
2013, EPA will have additional time necessary to complete its 
analysis of the study on incidental discharges and to develop 
and issue appropriate guidelines to address such discharges 
consistent with the goals of the Clean Water Act.
    In addition, extending this moratorium through December 18, 
2013, will align the expiration of this moratorium with the 
expiration date of EPA's existing Vessel General Permit (VGP) 
(79 Fed. Reg. 79473). The Committee intends that EPA address 
appropriate discharges from vessels less than 79 feet in 
length, fishing vessels, and other commercial vessels in its 
five-year renewal of the VGP.

                       Summary of the Legislation

    H.R. 5301 extends the period during which a permit under 
section 402 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean 
Water Act) is not required for discharges incidental to the 
normal operation of a vessel less than 79 feet in length or a 
fishing vessel. This extension of the current moratorium 
expires on December 18, 2013.

            Legislative History and Committee Consideration

    On May 13, 2010, Representative Frank LoBiondo introduced 
H.R. 5301.
    On July 1, 2010, the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure met in open session to consider H.R. 5301. The 
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure ordered H.R. 
5301 reported favorably to the House by voice vote with a 
quorum present.

                              Record Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires each committee report to include the 
total number of votes cast for and against on each record vote 
on a motion to report and on any amendment offered to the 
measure or matter, and the names of those members voting for 
and against. There were no recorded votes taken in connection 
with consideration of H.R 5301 or ordering the bill reported. A 
motion to order H.R. 5301 reported favorably to the House was 
agreed to by voice vote with a quorum present.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

                          Cost of Legislation

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the 
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is 
included in this report.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(2) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee references the report of the Congressional Budget 
Office included in the report.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
performance goals and objectives of this legislation are to 
extend the existing moratorium for an owner or operator of a 
vessel less than 79 feet in length or a fishing vessel to 
obtain a Federal Water Pollution Control Act permit for 
discharges incidental to the normal operation of such vessel 
until December 18, 2013.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 5301 
from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, July 8, 2010.
Hon. James L. Oberstar,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of 
        Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 5301, a bill to 
extend the period during which the Administrator of the 
Environmental Protection Agency and states are prohibited from 
requiring a permit under section 402 of the Federal Water 
Pollution Control Act for certain discharges that are 
incidental to normal operation of vessels.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Susanne S. 
Mehlman.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 5301--A bill to extend the period during which the Administrator 
        of the Environmental Protection Agency and states are 
        prohibited from requiring a permit under section 402 of the 
        Federal Water Pollution Control Act for certain discharges that 
        are incidental to normal operation of vessels

    Under current law, permit requirements related to certain 
discharges from fishing vessels and nonrecreational vessels 
less than 79 feet in length will become effective on July 31, 
2010. H.R. 5301 would extend that date until December 18, 2013. 
CBO estimates that enacting this legislation would have no 
significant budgetary effect.
    Pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply to this legislation 
because it would not affect direct spending or revenues.
    H.R. 5301 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    On May 24, 2010, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 
3372, a bill to modify the date on which the Administrator of 
the Environmental Protection Agency and applicable states may 
require permits for discharges on certain vessels, as ordered 
reported by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public 
Works on May 20, 2010. S. 3372 and H.R. 5301 are similar, and 
the CBO cost estimates are the same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Susanne S. 
Mehlman. This estimate was approved by Sam Papenfuss, Unit 
Chief for Income Security and Education Cost Estimates Unit, 
Budget Analysis Division.

                     Compliance With House Rule XXI

    Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, the Committee is required to include a list 
of congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited 
tariff benefits, as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of 
rule XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives. H.R. 
5301 does not contain any earmarks, limited tax benefits, or 
limited tariff benefits under clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of 
rule XXI.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, committee reports on a bill or joint 
resolution of a public character shall include a statement 
citing the specific powers granted to the Congress in the 
Constitution to enact the measure. The Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure finds that Congress has the 
authority to enact this measure pursuant to its powers granted 
under article I, section 8 of the Constitution.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act (P.L. 104-4).

                        Preemption Clarification

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 
requires the report of any Committee on a bill or joint 
resolution to include a statement on the extent to which the 
bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt state, local, 
or tribal law. The Committee states that H.R. 5301 does not 
preempt any state, local, or tribal law.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act are created by this 
legislation.

                Applicability to the Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act (P.L. 104-1).

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                          ACT OF JULY 31, 2008


                          (Public Law 110-299)

 AN ACT To clarify the circumstances during which the Administrator of 
 the Environmental Protection Agency and applicable States may require 
    permits for discharges from certain vessels, and to require the 
Administrator to conduct a study of discharges incidental to the normal 
                         operation of vessels.



           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
SEC. 2. DISCHARGES INCIDENTAL TO NORMAL OPERATION OF VESSELS.

  (a) No Permit Requirement.--Except as provided in subsection 
(b), [during the 2-year period beginning on the date of 
enactment of this Act] during the period beginning on the date 
of enactment of this Act and ending December 18, 2013, the 
Administrator, or a State in the case of a permit program 
approved under section 402 of the Federal Water Pollution 
Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1342), shall not require a permit under 
that section for a covered vessel for--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *