H.R. 5301: To extend the period 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 vessels

H.R. 5301

To extend the period 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 vessels

Date
July 20, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 5301 on Tuesday, July 20, 2010, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage.  This legislation was introduced by Rep. Frank LoBiondo (D-NJ).

Bill Summary

The bill delays the date in which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could require a permit for discharges from certain fishing boats.  Originally scheduled to be implemented July 31, 2010, this bill would delay the required permit until December 18, 2013.  H.R. 5301 would apply to discharge in regard to boats that are less than 79 feet in length and fishing vessels of any length.

Background

In 1973, the Environmental Protection Agency excluded from its permitting requirements, any discharges that were incidental to the normal operation of recreational and commercial vessels.  In 2006, the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California ruled that the EPA exceeded its authority under the Clean Water Act when it issued certain discharge exclusions to vessels.  The court’s decision was to go into effect September 30, 2008.

In 2008, Congress passed a bill (P.L.110-299) that provided a two year moratorium on requiring vessels to have a pollution permit under the Clean Water Act for certain discharges.  The moratorium applies to discharges of vessels under 79 feet in length and any size fishing vessel.  This moratorium is set to expire July 31, 2010.

Cost

CBO estimates that implementing this legislation would have no significant budgetary effect.