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                                                        Calendar No. 482
                                                        

116th Congress  }                                             {   REPORT
                                  SENATE                          
2d Session      }                                             {   116-235
_______________________________________________________________________
                                   

                                                       


               PORTABLE FUEL CONTAINER SAFETY ACT OF 2019

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                S. 1640
                                
                                

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]




                 June 23, 2020.--Ordered to be printed
                 
                 
                 
                 
                         ______

             U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 
 99-010               WASHINGTON : 2020 
                  
                 
                 
                 
                 
       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                     one hundred sixteenth congress
                             second session

                 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi, Chairman
JOHN THUNE, South Dakota             MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
ROY BLUNT, Missouri                  AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
TED CRUZ, Texas                      RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
DEB FISCHER, Nebraska                BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
JERRY MORAN, Kansas                  EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska                 TOM UDALL, New Mexico
CORY GARDNER, Colorado               GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
MARSHA BLACKBURN, Tennessee          TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO, West Virginia  TAMMY DUCKWORTH, Illinois
MIKE LEE, Utah                       JON TESTER, Montana
RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin               KYRSTEN SINEMA, Arizona
TODD C. YOUNG, Indiana               JACKY ROSEN, Nevada
RICK SCOTT, Florida
                       John Keast, Staff Director
               David Strickland, Minority Staff Director
               
               
               

                                                       Calendar No. 482
                                                       
                                                       
116th Congress   }                                             {  Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session      }                                             { 116-235

======================================================================



 
               PORTABLE FUEL CONTAINER SAFETY ACT OF 2019

                                _______
                                

                 June 23, 2020.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

       Mr. Wicker, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1640]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 1640) to require compliant 
flame mitigation devices to be used on portable fuel containers 
for flammable liquid fuels, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an 
amendment (in the nature of a substitute) and recommends that 
the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of S. 1640 is to direct the U.S. Consumer 
Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to issue a final rule to 
require flame mitigation devices on portable fuel containers 
that impede the propagation of flame into the containers.

                          Background and Needs

    Portable fuel containers are receptacles specifically 
designed to hold small amounts of gasoline.\1\ Portable fuel 
containers can range in size and hold up to 10 gallons of 
gasoline or more.\2\ The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA) estimates that there are approximately 80 million 
portable fuel containers in use in the United States.\3\ These 
containers are commonly used by U.S. consumers to store fuel 
for lawnmowers, snow blowers, and other small-engine 
equipment.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Kelly Burke, ``Understanding New Regulations for Portable Fuel 
Containers,'' The Spruce, Aug. 10, 2019 (https://www.thespruce.com/
regulations-for-portable-fuel-containers-2153054) (accessed May 21, 
2020).
    \2\Id.
    \3\Id.
    \4\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Portable fuel containers can pose serious safety risks to 
consumers if not properly handled. Under certain conditions, 
gasoline vapors escaping the portable fuel container can ignite 
with unpredictable force if the vapors come into contact with a 
spark or flame.\5\ An explosion can occur when ignited gasoline 
vapors travel back into the container through the spout, which 
can cause serious harm to individuals and damage surrounding 
property.\6\ According to the National Association of State 
Fire Marshalls, flammable or combustible liquids cause over 
160,000 fires and almost 4,000 injuries per year, and cost an 
estimated $1.5 billion in direct property damage annually.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Lisa Myers and Richard Gardella, ``Is My Gas Can Safe?,'' NBC 
News, Dec. 4, 2013 (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/my-gas-can-safe-
flna2D11693927) (accessed May 21, 2020).
    \6\Id.
    \7\National Association of State Fire Marshalls, letter of support 
(on file with the Committee), Jan. 25, 2019. See also Steven Tramel, 
``Portable Fuel Container Safety Act Introduced in House,'' 
Congressional Fire Services Institute, Jan. 31, 2019 (https://
www.cfsi.org/portable-fuel-container-safety-act-introduced-in-house/) 
(accessed May 21, 2020).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In 2007, the American Society for Testing and Materials 
(ASTM), an international standards-setting organization, formed 
the Subcommittee on Portable Fuel Containers to address the 
issue of burn injuries resulting from gas cans.\8\ Following 
ASTM's release of test results showing the ability of flame 
arrestors to limit gas can-related fires, the CPSC issued a 
statement in 2013 that called for the inclusion of flame 
arrestors in gasoline containers.\9\ A flame arrestor is a 
small piece of mesh or perforated disk designed to disrupt the 
flame.\10\ Flame arrestors can prevent flames from passing into 
the containers and causing the vapors inside to explode.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\National Leadership Conference, ``Prevent Serious Burn 
Injuries,'' American Burn Association, 2019 (http://ameriburn.org/wp-
content/uploads/2019/02/aba110_hr19_020419.pdf) (accessed May 21, 
2020).
    \9\Lisa Myers and Richard Gardella, ``Warning: Scientists Say Gas 
Cans Carry Risk of Explosion,'' NBC News, Dec. 4, 2013 (https://
www.cnbc.com/2013/12/04/warning-scientists-say-gas-cans-carry-risk-of-
explosion.html) (accessed May 21, 2020).
    \10\Id.
    \11\Rich Gardella, ``New Tests Show Flame Arresters Can Stop Gas 
Can Explosions,'' NBC News, Feb. 20, 2014 (https://www.nbcnews.com/
news/investigations/new-tests-show-flame-
arresters-can-stop-gas-can-explosions-n33981) (accessed May 21, 2020).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition to calling for the use of flame arrestors, the 
CPSC asked voluntary standards organizations to incorporate 
flame arrestor systems into applicable safety standards for gas 
cans.\12\ Currently, the Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration sets standards for fuel tanks, charcoal lighter 
fluid metal tanks, and other types of gas cans used in the 
workplace, but no equivalent, mandatory standard exists for 
household or consumer portable fuel container products.\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\Lisa Myers and Richard Gardella, ``Warning: Scientists Say Gas 
Cans Carry Risk of Explosion,'' NBC News, Dec. 4, 2013 (https://
www.cnbc.com/2013/12/04/warning-scientists-say-gas-cans-carry-risk-of-
explosion.html) (accessed May 21, 2020).
    \13\National Leadership Conference, ``Prevent Serious Burn 
Injuries,'' American Burn Association, 2019 (http://ameriburn.org/wp-
content/uploads/2019/02/aba110_hr19_020419.pdf) (accessed May 21, 
2020).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                         Summary of Provisions

    S. 1640 would direct the CPSC to issue a final rule 
requiring flame mitigation devices to be used in consumer fuel 
containers, unless the CPSC determines that a voluntary 
standard for flame mitigation devices in portable fuel 
containers meets certain conditions outlined in the Act.
    The CPSC also would be required to undertake a campaign to 
educate consumers about the dangers associated with portable 
fuel containers for flammable liquids and to submit a report to 
the Congress summarizing its education campaign activities.

                          Legislative History

    S. 1640, the Portable Fuel Container Safety Act of 2019, 
was introduced on May 23, 2019, by Senator Klobuchar (for 
herself and Senator Moran) and was referred to the Committee on 
Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate. On 
November 13, 2019, the Committee met in open Executive Session 
and, by voice vote, ordered S. 1640 reported favorably with an 
amendment (in the nature of a substitute).
    A companion bill, H.R. 806, was introduced on January 28, 
2019, by Representative Mike Thompson (for himself and 21 
original cosponsors) and was referred to the Committee on 
Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives. There are 
31 additional cosponsors. That bill, as amended, was passed by 
voice vote in the House of Representatives on September 17, 
2019.

                            Estimated Costs

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


    S. 1640 would require the Consumer Product Safety 
Commission (CPSC) to issue a final rule to require portable 
fuel containers to include a device that would stop flames from 
entering the container (called flame mitigation devices). The 
CPSC also would be required to undertake a campaign to educate 
consumers about the dangers associated with portable fuel 
containers for flammable liquids and to submit a report to the 
Congress summarizing its education campaign activities.
    On the basis of information from the CPSC, CBO estimates 
that implementing S. 1640 would cost about $3 million over the 
2020-2024 period; that spending would be subject to 
appropriation of the necessary amounts. On average, the 
equivalent of about four full-time employees would be required 
over that period to complete the final rule and education 
campaign, CBO estimates.
    The requirement that portable fuel containers include flame 
mitigation devices would be a private-sector mandate as defined 
in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). The act would 
permit CPSC to adopt a voluntary industry standard as its rule 
to meet this requirement. Based on industry information about 
the widespread use of flame mitigation devices in portable fuel 
containers, CBO estimates that the cost of the mandate would 
fall below the annual threshold for private-sector mandates 
established in UMRA ($164 million in 2019, adjusted annually 
for inflation).
    S. 1640 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined 
in UMRA.
    On September 18, 2019, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for 
H.R. 806, the Portable Fuel Container Safety Act of 2019, as 
passed by the House of Representatives on September 17, 2019. 
Similar to S. 1640, H.R. 806 would require the CPSC to issue a 
final rule, education campaign, and a report to the Congress. 
Unlike H.R. 806, S. 1640 does not allow the CPSC to combine 
voluntary standards when evaluating whether a current voluntary 
standard could become the federal standard issued in the final 
rule. Based on information from the CPSC, CBO does not expect 
this difference to have a significant effect on the act's 
estimated cost.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Philippa Haven 
(for federal costs) and Andrew Laughlin (for mandates). The 
estimate was reviewed by Leo Lex, Deputy Assistant Director for 
Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       number of persons covered

    In general, S. 1640 would direct the CPSC to establish a 
mandatory requirement for portable fuel container manufacturers 
to include flame mitigation devices in their products. However, 
such devices are currently broadly in use by the portable fuel 
container manufacturing industry in compliance with existing 
voluntary standards. Therefore, the Committee believes that the 
number of persons that will be subject to a new requirement 
will be minimal.

                            economic impact

    S. 1640 would not have an adverse economic impact on the 
Nation. Preventing injuries caused by fires due to portable 
fuel containers without flame arrestors will reduce the 
estimated $1.5 billion in flammable liquid injuries that occur 
each year.

                                privacy

    S. 1640 would not have any adverse impact on the personal 
privacy of individuals.

                               paperwork

    S. 1640 would not increase paperwork requirements for 
private individuals or businesses.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Sec. 1. Short title.

    This section would provide that the bill may be cited as 
the ``Portable Fuel Container Safety Act of 2019''.

Sec. 2. Performance standards to protect against portable fuel 
        container explosions near open flames or other ignition 
        sources.

    Subsection (a) would require the CPSC to promulgate a final 
rule requiring flame mitigation devices in portable fuel 
containers that impede the propagation of flame into the 
container.
    Subsection (b) provides that the rule be promulgated 
pursuant to section 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act\14\ 
and that the rule would be treated as a consumer product safety 
rule under section 9 of the Consumer Product Safety Act.\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \14\Public Law 79-404; 60 Stat. 237.
    \15\15 U.S.C. 2058.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Subsection (c) would also allow for an exception to the 
requirement that the CPSC promulgate this rule if it 
determines: (a) there is a voluntary standard for flame 
mitigation devices in portable fuel containers that impedes the 
propagation of flame into the container; (b) the voluntary 
standard will be in effect no later than 18 months after the 
date of enactment; and (c) the voluntary standard is developed 
by ASTM International or another such development organization 
that the CPSC determines has met the intent of the Act. 
Subsection (d) provides that this CPSC determination would be 
published in the Federal Register and would be treated as a 
consumer product safety rule under section 9 of the Consumer 
Product Safety Act\16\ beginning either 180 days after 
publication of the CPSC's determination or on the effective 
date contained in the voluntary standard.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Subsection (e) would require that the CPSC be notified if 
an organization subsequently revised the voluntary standard. 
The revision would take effect no later than 180 days after the 
CPSC is notified, unless the CPSC determines that the revised 
voluntary standard does not meet the requirements necessary to 
be an exception to the rule promulgated by this Act.
    Subsection (f) would allow the CPSC to modify the 
requirements of this Act to include any additional provisions 
that it deems reasonably necessary to protect public health or 
safety.
    Subsection (g) would also require the CPSC to undertake a 
campaign to educate consumers about the dangers associated with 
using or storing portable fuel containers for flammable liquids 
near an open flame or source of ignition. The CPSC must submit 
a summary of actions taken to further this campaign.
    Subsection (h) would define the term ``portable fuel 
container''.
    Subsection (i) would limit this Act's rule of construction 
to preclude conflict with the Children's Gasoline Burn 
Prevention Act.\17\
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    \17\Public Law 110-278.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sec. 3. Children's Gasoline Burn Prevention Act.

    This section would amend section 2(c) of the Children's 
Gasoline Burn Prevention Act to insert after ``for use by 
consumers'' the following: ``and any receptacle for gasoline, 
kerosene, or diesel fuel, including any spout, cap, and other 
closure mechanism and component of such receptacle or any 
retrofit or aftermarket spout or component intended or 
reasonably anticipated to be for use with such receptacle, 
produced or distributed for sale to or use by consumers for 
transport of, or refueling of internal combustion engines with, 
gasoline, kerosene, or diesel fuel.'' This amendment would take 
effect 6 months after enactment of this Act.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, 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 
material is printed in italic, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

                CHILDREN'S GASOLINE BURN PREVENTION ACT

[15 U.S.C. 2056 note; Pub. L. 110-278]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 2. CHILD-RESISTANT PORTABLE GASOLINE CONTAINERS.

    (a) * * *
    (b) * * *
    (c) Definition.--As used in this Act, the term ``portable 
gasoline container'' means any portable gasoline container 
intended for use by consumers and any receptacle for gasoline, 
kerosene, or diesel fuel, including any spout, cap, and other 
closure mechanism and component of such receptacle or any 
retrofit or aftermarket spout or component intended or 
reasonably anticipated to be for use with such receptacle, 
produced or distributed for sale to or use by consumers for 
transport of, or refueling of internal combustion engines with, 
gasoline, kerosene, or diesel fuel.
    (d) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *