House Appropriators Target Array of EPA Regulations


Capitol Hill

This week the House Appropriations Committee released draft legislation that would fund the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department in fiscal year 2017.

In addition to proposing a $164 million cut to EPA spending compared to this year, the bill also contains language that would restrict the EPA’s regulatory authority in a number of ways by limiting the agency from using appropriated funds in certain ways.

Here’s an overview of the EPA-focused riders in the draft bill, which was approved today by the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies:

  • Sec. 417 would prohibit the EPA from issuing any rule that would require operating permits under the Clean Air Act for carbon dioxide, methane or other pollutants from biological processes associated with livestock production.
  • Sec. 418 would prohibit the EPA from implementing any mandatory greenhouse gas reporting requirements for manure management systems.
  • Sec. 420 would prohibit the regulation of lead in ammunition and fishing tackle.
  • Sec. 424 would require that the EPA’s computer network block the viewing, download and exchange of pornography (for some background on the issue, check out this OIG report on employee misconduct at the EPA:
  • Sec. 425 would prohibit the EPA from changing the regulatory definition of “fill material” under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.
  • Sec. 426 would prohibit the EPA from requiring a permit for the discharge of dredged or fill material related to farming and ranching activity.
  • Sec. 427 would prohibit the EPA from implementing the 2015 Clean Water Rule to clarify the federal government’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (the rule has already been stayed nationwide by a federal appeals court).
  • Sec. 429 would prohibit enforcement of certain lead-based paint regulations until a commercially available lead test kit is available.
  • Sec. 430 would prohibit the EPA from issuing new financial responsibility requirements under Section 108(b) of CERCLA. The agency is working on a financial responsibility rule that would apply to hard rock mining and mineral processing facilities.
  • Sec. 431 would prohibit the EPA from implementing its suite of carbon dioxide regulations on the utility sector, including its Clean Power Plan rule for existing power plants. The Clean Power Plan has been stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Sec. 434 would restrict the EPA from phasing out the use of hydrofluorocarbons in refrigeration and foam blowing under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. HFCs are typically short-lived but highly-potent greenhouse gases.
  • Sec. 435 would require that all water infrastructure projects funded under the EPA’s state revolving funds use iron and steel products made in the U.S.
  • Sec. 436 would prohibit the incorporation of the social cost of carbon into any rulemaking or guidance document until an interagency working group completes its work.
  • Sec. 437 would prohibit the enforcement of hazard communication requirements under the EPA’s 2015 agricultural worker protection rule for employees that handle pesticides.
  • Sec. 438 would delay implementation of the EPA’s 2015 ozone standards of 70 parts per billion.
  • Sec. 439 would prohibit the development and implementation of regulations on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.
    For continuing coverage of the fiscal 2017 appropriations process for the EPA, follow our budget reporter Brian Dabbs (@briandabbs) and our Capitol Hill team (@DeanTScott, @AnthonyAdragna and @AriNatter).