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H.R. 3906 (104th): To encourage the development and use of new and innovative environmental monitoring technology by accelerating the move toward performance-based monitoring methods, establishing target dates for implementing a new regulatory approach across all environmental programs, and for other purposes.


The text of the bill below is as of Jul 26, 1996 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


HR 3906 IH

104th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 3906

To encourage the development and use of new and innovative environmental monitoring technology by accelerating the move toward performance-based monitoring methods, establishing target dates for implementing a new regulatory approach across all environmental programs, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 26, 1996

Mr. BAKER of California (for himself and Mr. LOFGREN) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science, and in addition to the Committees on Commerce, and Transportation and Infrastructure, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To encourage the development and use of new and innovative environmental monitoring technology by accelerating the move toward performance-based monitoring methods, establishing target dates for implementing a new regulatory approach across all environmental programs, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

    (a) FINDINGS- Congress finds the following:

      (1) The development of new and innovative environmental technologies, including technologies for monitoring environmental compliance, has been identified as a priority by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

      (2) Current Agency environmental monitoring requirements typically specify the use of a particular prescriptive analytical method that must be precisely followed, including the use of specific procedures and instrumentation. The codification of environmental monitoring methods in this manner hampers innovation because of the time-consuming and labor-intensive requirements for revising regulations and written methods.

      (3) Regulations can encourage the diffusion of innovative and pollution preventing technologies if they are cast in terms that specify performance in terms of data quality objectives, rather than technology or method.

      (4) The Agency is evaluating the barriers to the introduction of new and innovative environmental monitoring technologies and the option of converting from the current prescriptive analytical methods approach to performance-based monitoring methods.

      (5) The Agency has established no internal deadline for completing its review of the possibility of converting to performance-based monitoring methods.

      (6) The Agency lacks a mechanism for facilitating effective communication with Industry on the direction of environmental monitoring methods, technologies, and markets, and Agency regulations affecting them.

      (7) The market for environmental monitoring products and services is one of the most attractive arenas of the United States Government to enhance our international competitiveness and export performance, and the analytical method used in environmental monitoring are critical to this effort.

      (8) The Agency should foster efforts by the scientific community to develop environmental monitoring methods which improve environmental quality and which also improve the competitiveness of United States firms in the domestic and international marketplace.

      (9) The current Agency requirement that prescriptive analytical methods be used hinders the introduction of environmental monitoring methods and technologies with comparable or improved capabilities, and which may also be more cost effective.

    (b) PURPOSES- The purposes of this Act are to--

      (1) spur the development, introduction, and use of new and innovative environmental monitoring technologies,

      (2) encourage the development and use of new environmental monitoring technologies through the conversion of the Agency’s prescriptive analytical methods to performance-based monitoring methods,

      (3) establish a date certain by which the Environmental Protection Agency must complete the development of performance-based monitoring methods and a process for implementation within all Agency program and administrative offices to cover all media and multimedia methods,

      (4) promote and encourage participation and representation among all interested parties during this process, and

      (5) establish a date certain by which the Agency will develop a plan for guidance, implementation, and acceptance of performance-based monitoring methods by all Environmental Protection Agency regions, program offices, and States.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    For purposes of this Act:

      (1) The term ‘Agency’ means the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

      (2) The term ‘Administrator’ means the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

      (3) The term ‘environmental monitoring methods’ means procedures or techniques associated with the performance, technical capability, or environmental impact of an analytical method.

      (4) The term ‘Industry’ means members of the United States environmental monitoring technology industry and laboratories performing environmental testing.

      (5) The term ‘performance-based monitoring method’ means a requirement that imposes legal accountability for the achievement of specific data quality assurance objectives, without prescribing the particular procedures, techniques, or instrumentation for achieving such objectives.

SEC. 3. THE PERFORMANCE-BASED MONITORING METHODS ADVISORY COMMITTEE.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT- The Administrator shall establish the Performance-Based Monitoring Methods Advisory Committee no less than 90 days after the effective date of this Act.

    (b) PURPOSE- The Performance-Based Monitoring Methods Advisory Committee shall--

      (1) advise the Administrator on Agency policies, regulations, standards, and procedures that are barriers to the development and acceptance of performance-based monitoring technologies,

      (2) assist the Administrator to develop and submit to Congress the report required by section 4 of this Act,

      (3) assist the Administrator to ensure that data quality objectives are uniform to facilitate the development and acceptance of performance-based monitoring methods under section 5 of this Act,

      (4) assist the Administrator to develop a process for the acceptance of performance-based monitoring methods, including the exploration of the use of self-certification, third-party certification, or lab accreditation. Nothing in this Act shall be construed as authorizing the Agency to approve individual performance-based monitoring methods,

      (5) assist the Administrator to develop a plan for guidance, implementation, and acceptance of performance-based monitoring methods by all Agency regions, program offices, and States, and

      (6) recommend to the Administrator such changes to Agency policies, regulations, standards, and procedures that could stimulate the development and use of new or innovative environmental monitoring technologies.

    (c) MEMBERSHIP- The Performance-Based Monitoring Methods Advisory Committee shall be comprised of 12 members selected for appointment so as to provide as nearly as practicable a broad and balanced representation of interested parties, including United States Environmental Protection Agency program and regional offices, the analytical instruments industry, environmental testing laboratories, representatives from State regulatory agencies, public interest groups, and professional or technical societies.

    (d) COMMITTEE INPUT- Prior to initiating each of the activities described in sections 4 through 6 of this Act, the Administrator shall convene a meeting of the Performance-Based Monitoring Methods Advisory Committee for the purpose of seeking advice and recommendations.

    (e) DURATION- Section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act shall not apply with respect to the duration of the advisory committee established under this section.

    (f) DUTIES- The Performance-Based Monitoring Methods Advisory Committee shall convene at least twice a year, and may meet at additional times as required by the Administrator. The Performance-Based Monitoring Methods Advisory Committee shall submit to the Administrator such recommendations as it believes are consistent with its purposes. The Administrator shall make available to the Performance-Based Monitoring Methods Advisory Committee such staff as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act.

SEC. 4. REPORT TO CONGRESS.

    (a) GOAL- No later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to Congress a report which shall include a plan to establish a performance-based monitoring methods approval process.

    (b) SYSTEM- The report submitted under this section shall be consistent with the provisions of section 5 of this Act.

    (c) DELIVERY- The report shall be transmitted to the appropriate House and Senate committees.

SEC. 5. PERFORMANCE-BASED MONITORING METHODS.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT- (1) No later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall establish a performance-based monitoring methods approval process to be used uniformly in all environmental programs for purposes of monitoring compliance with environmental laws and permits.

    (2) Notwithstanding the adoption of a performance-based monitoring methods approval process, approved analytical methods existing at the time of enactment of this Act shall be deemed acceptable to the Environmental Protection Agency, until such time the Administrator determines that such existing methods are no longer acceptable.

    (b) AUTHORITY- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to permit the Agency to devise or endorse a process that permits or requires the rating or evaluation of one technology or instrument over another. Nothing in this Act shall be construed as requiring the approval of an environmental technology or instrument.

    (c) USE- The Administrator shall require that either the performance-based methods that are approved pursuant to this section or existing analytical methods be used in monitoring environmental compliance and for other purposes, as appropriate. Regulatory acceptance of a performance-based method shall be determined by compliance with the data quality objectives established by the Environmental Protection Agency.

    (d) STATUS- Performance-based monitoring methods approved pursuant to this section shall be deemed to be equivalent to existing Environmental Protection Agency methods for purposes of compliance with all applicable environmental statutes and regulations.

SEC. 6. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    (a) LIMITATION ON APPROPRIATIONS- No more funds may be appropriated to carry out the purposes of this Act than the amounts set forth in subsection (b). This Act shall be the exclusive source of authorization of appropriations to support any activities under this Act.

    (b) APPROPRIATIONS- There are authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator for carrying out the purposes of this Act such sums as shall be necessary.