Hazmat and EHS Provisions in Congress’ $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill

Posted on 12/18/2015 by Roger Marks

The US Congress this week passed a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill, which and the President is expected to sign into law. The spending bill includes a number of major policy positions, like lifting the 40-year export ban on crude oil and reauthorizing healthcare benefits for 9/11 emergency workers.

In addition to addressing these big issues, the bill includes some items of note for hazmat and hazardous waste shippers, EHS managers, and any business that’s subject to rules and regulations of the Department of Transportation (DOT) or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Here is a rundown of environmental and hazmat shipping–related items in the spending bill:
  • Provides funding for US EPA to develop, operate, maintain, and upgrade its electronic Hazardous Waste Manifest system (eManifests)
  • Allots $55.6 million for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to carry out its hazmat safety functions.
  • Requires PHMSA to “develop a hazardous materials response training curriculum for emergency responders, including response activities for the transportation of crude oil, ethanol and other flammable liquids by rail,” and make it available in an electronic format.
  • Requires PHMSA to create a rule to expand applicability of comprehensive oil spill response plans.
  • Prevents the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) from denying an application to renew a motor carrier’s hazardous materials safety program permit based on the carrier’s Hazardous Materials Out-of-Service rate without allowing the carrier to submit a written description of corrective actions taken.
  • Prohibits US EPA from creating regulations that require a Clean Air Act Title V permit for carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, water vapor, or methane emissions resulting from biological processes associated with livestock production
  • Prohibits US EPA from regulating lead content in ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
The full text of the appropriations bill is available here. Keep an eye on Lion News for more developments, if and when the bill is signed into law.

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Tags: Clean Air Act, DOT, hazmat shipping, new rules, TSCA

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