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H.R. 4149 (114th): Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act

The text of the bill below is as of Dec 1, 2015 (Introduced).


I

114th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 4149

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

December 1, 2015

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

A BILL

To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act with respect to citizen suits and the specification of disposal sites, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act.

2.

Citizen suits

(a)

Costs of litigation

Section 505(d) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1365(d)) is amended to read as follows:

(d)

The court, in issuing any final order in any action brought pursuant to this section, shall award costs of litigation (including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees) to the prevailing party. For purposes of this subsection, the prevailing party shall be considered to be the party, if any, that prevails on more than half of the claims at issue in the action. The court may, if a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction is sought, require the filing of a bond or equivalent security in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

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(b)

Restriction on certain settlements

Section 505(c) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C.1365(c)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(4)

Restriction on certain orders and settlements

A Federal court may not order, or approve a settlement requiring, in an action brought pursuant to this section, a governmental entity to carry out, or otherwise provide for, compensatory mitigation with respect to a permit applied for by, or issued to, the entity under section 404 in excess of the requirements for such mitigation under parts 320, 323, 325, and 332 of title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, and part 230 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations.

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3.

Specification of disposal sites

(a)

In general

Section 404(c) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1344(c)) is repealed.

(b)

Conforming amendments

Section 404(b) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1344(b)) is amended—

(1)

by striking Subject to subsection (c) of this section, each such disposal site and inserting Each such disposal site; and

(2)

by striking the Administrator, in conjunction with.

4.

Prohibition on excess mitigation

Section 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1344) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(u)

No governmental entity may carry out, or otherwise provide for, compensatory mitigation, with respect to a permit issued to the entity under this section, in excess of the requirements for such mitigation under parts 320, 323, 325, and 332 of title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, and part 230 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations.

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