IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
March 3, 2015
Mr. Flake (for himself, Mr. McCain, Mr. Lee, Mr. Crapo, Mr. Cornyn, Mr. Inhofe, and Mr. Vitter) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works
To amend the Clean Air Act with respect to exceptional event demonstrations, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Commonsense Legislative Exceptional Events Reforms Act of 2015.
Clean Air Act exceptional events
Section 319(b) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7619(b)) is amended—
in paragraph (1)(B)—
in clause (i), by inserting
or after the semicolon;
by striking clause (ii); and
by redesignating clause (iii) as clause (ii); and
in paragraph (3)—
in subparagraph (B)(iv), by striking
to petition the Administrator to and inserting
to submit a petition (in this section referred to as an exceptional event demonstration) to the Administrator to; and
by adding at the end the following:
Criteria for determination of exceptional event demonstration
The criteria for evidence, analyses, and documentation applicable to approval or disapproval of an exceptional event demonstration under the regulations under this section shall be stated with specificity in order to minimize the discretion of the Administrator in approving or disapproving that demonstration.
The Administrator shall develop the criteria in conjunction with input from the States.
The criteria shall reflect the varying levels of technical expertise and resources available in State and local agencies and the varying availability of meteorological and other monitoring data in rural areas, and may vary with respect to different regions.
In developing the criteria, the Administrator shall consider the use of an expedited or streamlined approval process and conditions under which exceptional event demonstrations may be suitable for such a process.
Timing of determination of exceptional event demonstration
Deadline for determination
Not later than 90 days after submission of an exceptional event demonstration, the Administrator shall approve, disapprove, or request additional information from a State regarding the exceptional event demonstration.
If the Administrator does not approve, disapprove, or request additional information relating to an exceptional event demonstration within the 90-day period described in subclause (I), the demonstration shall be considered to be approved on the day after the date on which that 90-day period ends.
Deadline if additional information requested
If the Administrator requests additional information from a State regarding an exceptional event demonstration under clause (i), not later than 90 days after the submission of that additional information, the Administrator shall approve or disapprove the demonstration.
If the Administrator does not approve or disapprove a demonstration for which additional information is submitted within the 90-day period described in subclause (I), the demonstration shall be considered to be approved.
Burden of proof
The regulations promulgated under this section shall provide that—
a determination by the Administrator with respect to approval or disapproval of an exceptional event demonstration be based on a preponderance of the evidence; and
in making a determination, the Administrator—
shall accord substantial deference to the findings of the State exceptional event demonstration; and
may develop and use analyses and consider evidence not provided in the exceptional event demonstration, subject to the condition that the analyses are developed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Subject to subclause (II), disapproval by the Administrator of an exceptional event demonstration shall be considered final action subject to judicial review under section 307(b).
Notwithstanding subclause (I), disapproval by the Administrator of an exceptional event demonstration shall only be subject to appeal by the State that submitted the exceptional event demonstration.
Approval by the Administrator of an exceptional event demonstration shall not be subject to appeal or other judicial action.
Revision of regulations
After providing for a notice and comment period, but not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall revise the regulations under section 319(b) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7619(b)) to carry out the amendments made by this Act.