H.R. 4212 (112th): Drywall Safety Act of 2012

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Mar 19, 2012 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4212

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 19, 2012

(for himself, Mr. Deutch, Mr. Posey, Ms. Wasserman Schultz, Mr. Wittman, Mr. Hastings of Florida, Mr. Diaz-Balart, Ms. Brown of Florida, Mr. Scott of Virginia, Mr. Forbes, and Mr. Buchanan) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, 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 designate drywall manufactured in China a banned hazardous product, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Contaminated Drywall Safety Act of 2012.

2.

Findings; sense of Congress

(a)

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

Between 2001 through 2009, contaminated drywall manufactured in China was imported into the United States and used in home construction.

(2)

It has been found through scientific studies, including a study by Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, that the contaminated drywall imported from China creates a corrosive environment for fire safety alarm devices, such as smoke and carbon monoxide alarms; electrical distribution components, such as receptacles, switches, and circuit breakers; and gas service piping and fire suppression sprinkler systems installed in the affected homes.

(3)

Based on these scientific findings, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission issued an updated Remediation Protocol for Homes with Problem Drywall on March 18, 2011, which recommends the replacement of all contaminated drywall and replacement of fire safety alarm devices, electrical distribution components, and gas service piping and fire suppression sprinkler systems.

(4)

In addition, homeowners with contaminated drywall from China have indicated that the drywall releases a strong sulfur-like odor that renders the home uninhabitable.

(5)

Companies in China that manufactured and exported the contaminated drywall to the United States have refused to meet with United States officials, including representatives of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, have not provided financial assistance to homeowners with contaminated drywall from China, and have not submitted to jurisdiction in United States Federal Courts that are hearing cases on contaminated drywall from China.

(b)

Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1)

the Secretary of State should insist that the Government of the People’s Republic of China, which has ownership interests in the companies that manufactured and exported contaminated drywall to the United States, have the companies meet with representatives of the United States Government on remedying homeowners that have contaminated drywall in their homes; and

(2)

the Secretary of State should insist that the Government of the People’s Republic of China have the companies that manufactured and exported contaminated drywall submit to jurisdiction in United States Federal Courts and comply with any decisions issued by the Courts for homeowners with contaminated drywall.

3.

Ban on contaminated drywall

(a)

Treatment as banned hazardous substance

Any contaminated drywall shall be treated as a banned hazardous substance under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (15 U.S.C. 1261 et seq.) and as an imminent hazard under section 12 of the Consumer Product Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 2061).

(b)

Treatment as a regulation under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act

The ban imposed under subsection (a) shall be treated as regulations of the Commission promulgated under or for the enforcement of section 2(q) of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (15 U.S.C. 1261(q)).

(c)

Additional regulations

(1)

Exemption

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall promulgate a rule that allows the Commission to exempt certain drywall that the Commission has determined to be non-hazardous.

(2)

Disposal and test

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall promulgate a rule on—

(A)

the disposal of—

(i)

contaminated drywall, including during remediation or renovation; and

(ii)

any such drywall that was imported into the United States but not used; and

(B)

a standard test to identify any such drywall.

4.

Enforcement

(a)

Penalties

Any failure of a person subject to a requirement of section 3 to comply with such requirement shall be treated as a violation of section 4 of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (15 U.S.C. 1263) and subject to the penalties set forth in section 5 of such Act (15 U.S.C. 1264).

(b)

Reports

Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter for the next 2 years, the Commission shall submit to Congress a report on the actions taken by the Commission to enforce the provisions of this Act, including a summary of the criminal and civil penalties imposed under subsection (a).

5.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Commission

The term Commission means the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

(2)

Contaminated drywall

The term contaminated drywall means drywall that are goods of the People’s Republic of China classifiable under subheading 6809.11.00 or 6809.19.00 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.