H.R. 1550 (111th): Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act of 2009

111th Congress, 2009–2010. Text as of Mar 17, 2009 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

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111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1550

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 17, 2009

(for herself, Mr. Braley of Iowa, and Mrs. Miller of Michigan) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on 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 accelerate motor fuel savings nationwide and provide incentives to registered owners of high polluting automobiles to replace such automobiles with new fuel efficient and less polluting automobiles or public transportation.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act of 2009.

2.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Automobile; manufacturer; model; model year; passenger automobile

The terms automobile, manufacturer, model, model year,passenger automobile, and work truck have the meanings given such terms in section 32901(a) of title 49, United States Code.

(2)

Certificate of title

The term certificate of title means a valid State-issued title or other document showing ownership by a person of an automobile.

(3)

Dealer

The term dealer means a person engaged in any State in the business of selling or leasing in interstate commerce new automobiles (except a person buying such automobile as a dealer) to an ultimate purchaser.

(4)

Dismantler

The term dismantler means a person residing in a State and is licensed or otherwise authorized by a State or local government to operate a business employing 3 or more persons to take automobiles apart for the purpose of reclaiming usable parts and recyclable materials.

(5)

Distributor

The term distributor means a person who acts for, and is under the control of, a manufacturer in connection with the distribution of new automobiles or new automobile engines, but shall not include any dealer with respect to such automobiles or engines received by such person in commerce.

(6)

Eligible high polluting automobile

The term eligible high polluting automobile means an automobile that, at the time it is presented for participation in the program established under section 3 of this Act, it—

(A)

is in drivable condition; and

(B)

has been continuously registered and licensed to operate on public roads in any State for a period of not fewer than 120 consecutive days immediately prior to such presentation.

(7)

High polluting automobile

The term high polluting automobile means an automobile that is either an inefficient or high polluting automobile and that was issued a certificate of conformity with the regulations prescribed under section 202 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7521) for any model year before model year 2001, and is not a new fuel efficient automobile.

(8)

Highway label fuel economy value

The term highway label fuel economy value means the number, expressed in miles per gallon, centered directly below the words Highway MPG on the label required to be affixed or caused to be affixed on a new automobile pursuant to subpart D of part 600 of title 40 Code of Federal Regulations.

(9)

City label fuel economy value

The term city label fuel economy value means the number, expressed in miles per gallon, centered directly below the words City MPG on the label required to be affixed or caused to be affixed on a new automobile pursuant to subpart D of part 600 of title 40 Code of Federal Regulations.

(10)

Battery electric automobile

The term battery electric automobile means an automobile that—

(A)

draws motive power from a battery with a capacity of at least 4-kilowatt hours; and

(B)

is recharged from an external source of electricity for motive power.

(11)

New fuel efficient automobile

The term new fuel efficient automobile means a model year 2009, 2010, or 2011 passenger automobile, nonpassenger automobile, or work truck for which—

(A)

a manufacturer, distributor, or dealer has never, except in accordance with the Program established by this Act, transferred the equitable or legal title by contract, lease or other means thereof to an ultimate purchaser;

(B)

a dealer participating in such Program may, during the period beginning after the date in calendar year 2009 that the interim final regulations required by section 3(f) of this Act are promulgated by the Secretary and ending on December 31, 2010, accept a voucher under such Program as an offset of the purchase price of such automobile paid by such purchaser; and

(C)

at the time of such purchase of such automobile by an ultimate purchaser—

(i)

carries a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $35,000 or less; and

(ii)

achieves the emission standard listed as tier 2, bin 5 in table S04–1 under section 86.1811–04 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulation.

(12)

Nonpassenger automobile

The term nonpassenger automobile means an automobile classified as a light truck under part 523 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, and is not a work truck.

(13)

Person

The term person has the meaning given such term in section 551 of title 5, United States Code.

(14)

Plug-in electric drive automobile

The term plug-in electric drive automobile has the same meaning given the term new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle in section 30D(d)(1) through (4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

(15)

Program

The term Program means the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS) Program established by section 3 of this Act.

(16)

Registered work truck

The term registered work truck means a work truck that—

(A)

a dealer, at the time of acquisition by an ultimate purchaser of a work truck for which a voucher under section 3 of this Act is applied, registers such truck as a commercial vehicle under the applicable State law for such purchaser as the registered owner thereof; and

(B)

achieves the emission standard listed as tier 2, bin 5 in Table S04–1 under section 86.1811–04 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations.

(17)

Registered owner

The term registered owner means, with respect to an automobile or work truck, the person identified as the ultimate purchaser of such automobile or work truck on the title or other form or certificate of registration issued by a State.

(18)

Scrap recycler

The term scrap recycler means a person licensed or otherwise authorized by a State or local government to do business—

(A)

employing 3 or more individuals at a fixed location in a State, where machinery and equipment are utilized for processing and manufacturing scrap metal into prepared grades; and

(B)

whose principal product is scrap iron, scrap steel, or nonferrous metallic scrap for sale for remelting purposes.

(19)

Administrator; secretary

The terms Administrator and Secretary mean the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Secretary of Transportation, respectively.

(20)

State

The term State has the meaning given such term in section 32101 of title 49, United States Code.

(21)

Ultimate purchaser

The term ultimate purchaser means, with respect to any new automobile, the first person who in good faith purchases such automobile for purposes other than resale.

(22)

Voucher

The term voucher means a voucher issued to the registered owner of an eligible high polluting automobile under section 3(a) of (g).

3.

Accelerated recycling of inefficient vehicles program

(a)

Establishment

There is established in the Department of Transportation a program to be known as the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS) Program, for fiscal years 2009 through 2011, through which the Secretary, in accordance with this Act and the regulations promulgated thereunder, shall—

(1)

encourage and allow any dealer, dismantler, and scrap recycler in any State to participate in the Program;

(2)

authorize the issuance by participating dealers of a vouchers to any person who is a registered owner of a high polluting automobile, and who transfers such automobile, together with the applicable certificate of title for the automobile, to a dealer, or, in the case of subsection (g) of this section, to a dismantler or scrape recycler;

(3)

require that all dealers participating in the Program accept vouchers submitted to them as provided in this Act as partial payment for the purchase of a new fuel efficient automobile;

(4)

require that each participating dealer agree to accept any high polluting automobile from a registered owner thereof and upon the transfer by such owner of a certificate of title to such automobile shall issue a voucher for such automobile to the owner, which may be immediately redeemed by such owner for the purchase of a new fuel efficient automobile that, using for comparison purposes only the average full economy standard applicable to the make and model of each such automobile (taking into consideration relevant factors established and published by the Secretary, in coordination with the Administration), is shown to be more fuel efficient than such high polluting vehicle;

(5)

require that participating dealers, dismantlers, and scrap recyclers agree to comply with the applicable provisions of subsection (e) of this section; and

(6)

electronically transfer funds to a participating dealer within 10 days after receipt from such dealer of—

(A)

a voucher issued by the dealer and redeemed for the purchase of a new fuel efficient automobile; and

(B)

the applicable certifications required under this Act.

(b)

Amount of Voucher

(1)

Voucher redemption value if used toward purchase of new fuel efficient automobile

A voucher issued under the Program may be applied to offset a portion of the purchase price of one new fuel efficient automobile meeting the criteria set forth in this paragraph, which portion shall be the amount of—

(A)

$4,000 for a—

(i)

passenger automobile assembled in the United States with a minimum highway label fuel economy value of 27 miles per gallon;

(ii)

passenger automobile assembled in North America with a minimum highway label fuel economy value of 30 miles per gallon; or

(iii)

nonpassenger automobile assembled in the United States with a minimum highway label fuel economy value of 24 miles per gallon;

(B)

$5,000 for a—

(i)

passenger automobile assembled in the United States with a minimum highway label fuel economy value of 30 miles per gallon; or

(ii)

work truck assembled in the United States registered by the dealer as a registered work truck; or

(C)

$3,000 for a nonpassenger automobile assembled in North America with a minimum highway value of 24 miles per gallon.

(2)

No combination of voucher redemption values

The voucher redemption values under subsections (b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(B), and (b)(1)(C) of this section shall not be combined. If a new fuel efficient automobile meets the criteria set forth in more than one such subsection, the purchaser of the new fuel efficient automobile may designate which subsection applies for purposes of determining the voucher redemption value.

(c)

Administrative payments to participating dealers, dismantlers, and scrap recycling facilities

The Secretary shall provide for a payment of $50, or another greater amount determined reasonable by the Secretary, to participating dealers, dismantlers, and scrap recyclers for each voucher issued under the Program in consideration of their administrative and other similar costs related to such issuance and for the issuance of the certification required by subsection (e)(3) of this section.

(d)

Lists of eligible automobiles To be maintained

The Secretary shall prepare, maintain, publicize, and make available through the Internet, lists of automobiles, classified by make and model, which are classified under this section as—

(1)

eligible high polluting automobiles; or

(2)

new fuel efficient automobiles.

(e)

Program Specifications

(1)

Limitations

(A)

Number of vouchers per person

A person may be issued not more than 1 voucher and the person must demonstrate, in a manner prescribed by rule by the Secretary, that such person—

(i)

is the registered owner of an eligible high polluting automobile; and

(ii)

attests that such high polluting automobile has not been imported into the United States during the previous 4-month period.

(B)

Offset

A dealer—

(i)

shall credit the amount of the voucher being applied toward the purchase of a new fuel efficient automobile; and

(ii)

may not offset the amount of the voucher against any other rebate or discount otherwise being offered by the dealer or manufacturer.

(C)

Joint ownership

Not more than 1 voucher may be issued to the joint registered owners of an eligible high polluting automobile.

(D)

No combination of vouchers

A person may only apply 1 voucher issued under the Program toward the purchase of a new fuel efficient automobile.

(E)

Combination with other incentives permitted

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the availability or use of a Federal or State tax incentive or a State-issued voucher for the purchase of a new fuel efficient automobile shall not limit the value or issuance of a voucher under the Program to any person otherwise eligible to receive such a voucher.

(F)

Duration

Each voucher shall expire 90 days after the date on which the voucher is issued and may not be renewed.

(G)

Prompt fulfillment of redemption requests required

The Secretary shall provide for the payment of all vouchers submitted to the Secretary for redemption in accordance with this section.

(H)

Number and amount

The total number and value of vouchers issued under the Program may not exceed the amounts appropriated for such purpose.

(2)

Administration of program

The Secretary shall establish by the date interim final regulations are promulgated under subsection (f) of this section a web-based system for the administration and electronic transfer of vouchers and funds for the Program. The web-based system shall at a minimum—

(A)

provide information to the public regarding the purposes of the Program, and how to obtain and redeem vouchers;

(B)

provide information to consumers regarding the availability of new fuel efficient automobiles for which vouchers may be used and transit passes or fare credit;

(C)

provide information to participating dealers, dismantlers, and scrap recyclers regarding how to verify that a registered owner requesting a voucher has an eligible high polluting automobile;

(D)

provide for the electronic issuance of vouchers once eligibility has been verified; and

(E)

provide electronic fund transfer of funds to participating dealers, dismantlers, and scrap recyclers in accordance with section. In addition to the web-based system, the Secretary may use such other means as the Secretary deems necessary to educate consumers regarding the voucher program and carry out other aspects of the program.

(3)

Disposition of eligible high polluting automobiles

(A)

In general

Any dealer who receives a certificate of title to any eligible high polluting automobile in exchange for a voucher under the Program shall certify to the Secretary, in such manner as the Secretary shall prescribe, by rule, that such title has been retired or otherwise extinguished and not re-issued and that the dealer has received from a dismantler or recycler a certification that such automobile, engine and drive train (within such period as the Secretary prescribes by rule)—

(i)

will be crushed or shredded within such period as the Secretary prescribes;

(ii)

will be processed prior to crushing or shredding to ensure the removal and appropriate disposition of refrigerants, antifreeze, lead products, mercury switches, and such other toxic or hazardous vehicle components as the Secretary may specify by rule; and

(iii)

has not been, and will not be, registered, sold, leased, exchanged, distributed, or otherwise operated at any time as an automobile in the United States or in any foreign country.

(B)

Savings provision

Nothing in subparagraph (A) may be construed to preclude a dismantler or recycler from—

(i)

removing any parts of such crushed or shredded high polluting automobile, other than the engine block and drive train, and selling them for use as replacement parts; or

(ii)

retaining the proceeds from such sale.

(C)

Coordination

The Secretary shall coordinate with the Attorney General to ensure that the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System is appropriately updated to reflect the crushing or shredding of high polluting automobiles under this section.

(f)

Rulemaking

Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall promulgate interim final regulations to implement the Program, including—

(1)

the removal and disposition of toxic or hazardous materials from eligible high polluting vehicles presented for participation in the program; and

(2)

the enforcement of the penalties described in section 4 of this Act.

(g)

Transit fare credits

The Secretary shall promulgate regulations establishing criteria that allow operators of bus and rail public transit systems participating in the program to redeem from the Secretary the allowable value of transit fare vouchers properly issued by such operators to any person who is a registered owner of a high polluting automobile under this Act to offset the purchase price of annual or monthly transit passes or any other form of individual transit fare credit designated by the transit system operator. Participating transit system operators shall establish the terms and conditions for the ownership, use, and expiration of any transit fare credits acquired through the use of a transit fare voucher issued under this subsection. Such transit vouchers may only be issued by a person who is a dismantler or scrap recycler in lieu of vouchers issued under subsection (a) if a high polluting automobile of a registered owner is accepted by any such dismantler or scrap recycler, such owner transfers the certificate of title for such automobile to either such person, and such voucher includes the certification by such dismantler or recycler required by subsection (e)(3) of this section. The amount of any such voucher shall be $3,000. The Secretary shall electronically transfer funds to cover such vouchers to such operators.

(h)

Disclaimer

Nothing in this Act or any other provision of law limits the authority of Congress or the Secretary to terminate or limit the Program or the issuance of vouchers under this Act or the issuance of transit fare vouchers.

4.

Penalties

(a)

Violation

It shall be unlawful for any person to violate any provision under this Act or any regulations issued pursuant to section 3(f) of this Act.

(b)

Penalties

Any person who commits a violation described in subsection (a) shall be liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each violation. A separate violation shall be deemed to have occurred for each day the person continues to be in violation of any provision under this Act.

5.

Report

The Secretary shall submit a semi-annual report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives that specifies, for the most recent 6-month period—

(1)

the number of vouchers which have been used under the Program; and

(2)

the make, model, model year, location of sale, and manufacturing location of each vehicle traded in or purchased under the Program.

6.

Post-2010 vouchers to recycle inefficient vehicles and encourage purchase of new battery electric automobiles and plug-in electric drive automobiles

Effective for model year 2011, the Secretary shall, by rule, revise the Program established under section 3 of this Act to provide for the issuance by dealers of vouchers to registered owners of a high polluting automobile, who transfer a certificate of title to such automobile to the dealer to be redeemed in such model year and for two subsequent model years to offset the purchase price of a new battery electric automobile or a new plug-in electric drive automobile, in accordance with the applicable provisions of this Act and related regulations, as so revised or modified by the Secretary consistent with this section. For purposes of determining the amount of a voucher issued under this section for purposes of such redemption, the voucher amount shall be $7,500 for either a passenger or nonpassenger automobile assembled in the United States and each such automobile shall have a minimum city label fuel economy value of 100 miles per gallon.

7.

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to the Secretary of Transportation to enable the Secretary to carry out the Program authorized under section 3 of this Act beginning in calendar year 2009, under section 6 beginning in calendar year 2010, and such sums shall remain available until expended.