Three Bills Seek Changes to EPA Rule Making
Reduction In Permit Processing Time Sought
The bill, HR 2641 would aim to streamline environmental permitting by authorizing sponsors of private construction projects to prepare environmental reviews, allow the use of reviews for other, similar projects, and establishes a 2-year deadline for completing Environmental Impact Statements and issuing a Record of Decision.
HR 2641 Bill Report and Vote.
Alternative Proposed to Rule Regarding Disposal of Coal Waste Near Streams
Under the bill, firms would be allowed to dispose of mine waste near streams if regulators determine that avoiding disturbance of the streams is not reasonably possible. Under the rule OSM is currently implementing, firms are prohibited from disposing of mine waste within 100 feet of streams. Debate delayed to week of Mar. 10th.
HR 2824 Bill Report and Vote
Requirement Added to EPA GHG Rules
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposed rule that would establish uniform national limits on greenhouse gas. (GHG) The bill would prohibit that rule and require EPA to separate application of the rule for power plants using different types of fuels.
“The bill would repeal all EPA rules issued prior to the enactment of the bill that established GHG emissions standards for fossil fuel-fired power plants, including standards issued on January 8, 2014, that will reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by 3% to 5%.”
HR 3826 Bill Report and Vote.
Individual Mandate to Buy Insurance Suspended for one year
Penalties for not purchasing health insurance by March 31st is repealed for one year by reducing the fine to $0.
HR 4118 Bill Report and Vote.
Flood Insurance Bill Returned to House Floor
After last week’s bill was pulled from the floor, HR 3370 aims to iron out differences threatening to stall passage of the bill.
Reportedly, the bill “the limits yearly premium increases to an average increase of 15% per year, and provides that, in reaching that average, no individual policy holder would pay a premium increase of greater than 18% per year. and has a provision that reinstates the flood insurance program’s grandfathering provision for homes that complied with previous FEMA flood maps would not be subject to large increases when new maps, showing larger flood risks, are implemented by the agency”
HR 3370 Bill Report and Votes.
Bills Compete on Military Sexual Assault
Military Justice Improvements
The Uniform Code of Military Justice is amended to establish who, when, and how sexual misconduct matters are handled by the Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security governing charges of conspiracy, solicitation and an attempts to commit. maximum punishment would include confinement for more than one year.
S 1752 Bill Report and Vote.
Military Justice: Victims Needs.
Victims are given an advocate and wide leeway on determining the venue in which a charge of sexual assault would be heard and an assessment of how well commanders have created an environment in which allegations of sexual assault are properly managed.
S 1917 Bill Report and Vote.
The US & the World.
Bill Extends US Aid and Cooperation with Israel
The bill extends a potpourri of military aid and financial involvement with Israel’s energy and water projects.
HR 938 Bill Report and Vote.
Support for Venezuelan Protesters
The Resolution recognizes and supports peaceful public demonstrations in Venezuela as the public there traverses changes in government leadership and economic conditions.
H RES 488 Bill Report and Vote.
Aid to Ukraine
The bill authorizes a loan guarantee to Ukraine. The guarantee would leverage $200 million to provide $1 billion.
HR 4152 Bill Report and Vote.
Aid to Philippines
Charitable donations made to aid victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines who made donations after December 31, 2014, (the cutoff date for declaring a charitable donation) and before March 1, 2014 can claim the donations with the IRS as charitable donations.
S 1821 Bill Report and Vote.
Wild and Scenic Rivers Program
Details of US involvement with determining the impacts of a Wild and Scenic Rivers designation are to be studied under the bill that also seeks recognition of approximately 140 other rivers and streams.
HR 2197 Bill Report and Vote.
Montana Public Land Sequestered from Mining Activities
430,000 acres of national public land are protected from geothermal and mineral exploration and mining.
HR 2259 Bill Report and Vote.
Additional Acreage Added to Michigan National Park
32,557 acres would be added to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Conservation and Recreation Area adding to its 70,000 acres of forests, lakes, beaches, and large sand dunes along the shores of Lake Michigan in northwestern Michigan.
S 23 Bill Report and Vote.
Truckers helping to deliver propane and other heating fuels during this winter’s heating fuel shortage would be exempt from some regulations for a while.
HR 4076 Bill Report and Vote.
GSA Would Seek Energy Efficiency
The bill would require the General Services Administration (GSA) to work with private owners of properties rented by the government towards building energy efficiency.
HR 2126 Bill Report and Vote.
Senate Vet Benefits Bill Still in Committee
The bill, S 1982 failed to gain support from Senators last week and remains in committee. The bill gained cloture but amendments did not thereby the committee action to iron out differences..
S 1982 Bill Report, Amendments and Votes.