Library of Congress Summary
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
10/1/1984--Passed House amended.
(Measure passed House, amended) Ocean Dumping Amendments Act of 1984 - Amends the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 to include "wetlands" among the factors considered in assessing the effect of ocean dumping.
Prohibits after December 31, 1986, the issuance of any permit for the dumping of municipal sludge unless:
(1) the applicant is in compliance with all the requirements of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act pertaining to pretreatment standards for the introduction of pollutants into treatment works; and
(2) there is not available any land-based alternative to the ocean disposal of the sludge.
Makes mandatory the authority (currently, discretionary authority) of the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (Administrator) to designate recommended dumpsites.
Sets forth explicit factors to be considered when designating dumping sites.
Requires periodic monitoring of the effects of dumping of materials at or adjacent to each site.
Requires the Administrator when a site is found unsuitable for continued dumping to:
(1) limit dumping at the site; or
(2) suspend or terminate such site's designation.
Requires an analysis of a site for suitability for dumping to include consideration of:
(1) type and quantity of waste pollutants projected to be deposited in, and adjacent to, the site from dumping and other sources;
(2) ability of the waters at the site to disperse, detoxify, or neutralize the materials;
(3) importance of the site to the surrounding biological community; and
(4) immediate and cumulative effects on human health and on the ecosytem within the site.
Grants to the Administrator or the Secretary of the Army (Secretary), as the case may be, authority to impose on permittees any special provisions deemed necessary to minimize the harm from dumping.
Makes it mandatory for the Administrator or the Secretary, as the case may be, to collect ocean dumping permit processing fees.
Requires an additional special fee to be collected from applicants of ocean dumping permits to recoup the cost of undertaking activities directly associated with permits.
Directs the Administrator and the Secretary to establish quality assurance programs to ensure the validity, accuracy, and efficiency of information submitted with permit applications.
Requires the Administrator and the Secretary to adhere to the requirements of the London Dumping Convention that are binding upon the United States (to the extent consistent with the requirements of this Act). Sets forth transitional provisions, including "grandfathering" (with certain exceptions) specific dumping sites from the amendments under this Act. Revises the definition of "ocean waters" to include "subjacent areas".
Establishes criminal penalties for the knowing falsification of information or tampering with testing devices required by this Act. Grants jurisdiction to U.S. district courts to issue writs of mandamus to compel the Administrator to designate dumping sites.
Directs the Administrator to establish a schedule for expeditiously completing the study and designation or denial of designation of certain sites used for dumping under interim designations or court order.
Requires such schedule to be submitted to the Congress no later than 180 days after enactment of this Act. Requires separate annual reports to the Congress by the Administrator and the Secretary on the administration of the Ocean Dumping Act. Sets forth the Congressional finding that the New York Bight Apex is no longer suitable for municipal sludge dumping.
Requires applicants seeking permits to dump municipal sludge within the Apex to be eligible authorities.
Prohibits the Administrator from issuing or renewing permits for the dumping of municipal sludge within the Apex either after 18 months from the date of enactment of this Act or after the first day the Administrator determines sludge can reasonably be dumped at a designated site outside the Apex, whichever date occurs first.
Directs the Administrator to develop a New York Bight Apex Restoration Plan for improving the overall water quality and marine resources of the Apex. Requires the Administrator to hold public hearings to obtain comments from interested parties.
Requires a report to be submitted to Congress within three years.
Sets forth various activities which must be covered by the plan.
Directs the Administrator to submit to Congress within six months a schedule for completing the plan and an estimate of the cost for developing and, where possible, implementing the plan.
Directs the Administrator to report to Congress within one year on the economic and technical feasibility of establishing and implementing quality standards for the disposal of municipal sludge through ocean or land-based methods.
Authorizes appropriations for FY 1985 through 1987 to the Environmental Protection Agency for purposes of preparing the New York Bight Apex Restoration Plan. Authorizes appropriations to the Environmental Protection Agency for FY 1986 through 1991 for projects to improve the water quality of the Hudson-Raritan Estuary and the New York Bight. Authorizes the Administrator to use such appropriations to reimburse eligible authorities, up to 100 percent in FY 1986 and up to 50 percent in FY 1987, for the excess costs of transporting for dumping its municiple sludge at a site other than the Apex. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1985 through 1987 for the purposes and administration of ocean dumping.
Prohibits the ocean dumping of all harmful municipal sludge after 18 months of the date of enactment of this Act. Defines "harmful municipal sludge" as municipal sludge which fails to meet Environmental Protection Agency's environmental impact criteria.
House Democratic Caucus Summary
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