Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Reader Comment – 3-5-13 My Mistake on HR 888 Post

A sharp eyed reader caught me in a mistake on my blog post on HR 888 and the General Duty Clause. Anonymous wrote:

Not sure what you mean when you say "Unfortunately the referenced paragraph consists solely of four separate definitions and, as worded, this change cannot modify any of the definitions except perhaps for the one for ‘retail facility’ (the final definition), but that would make no regulatory or factual sense."

The bill explicity states:

"Subparagraph (A) of section 112(r)(2) of the Clean Air Act(42 U.S.C. 7412(r)(2)) is amended"

and 112(r)(2)(A) is the definition of "accidental release," so it is that definition that is being amended. 

Anonymous is absolutely correct. In researching the amendment I looked just at the US Code reference in the parentheses and missed the “Subparagraph (A)” at the start of the sentence. This is one of the problems with the convoluted ways that legislation is written. You cannot find a current, up-to-date version of the Clean Air Act except by going to the US Code on the GPO web site.

To make matters more confusing there are always numbering differences between the legislation and the US Code; in this case §112(r)(2) vs §7412(r)(2). In this case the difference is minor and easily understood, but it can frequently get rather convoluted.

It would be so much easier if the amendments were made directly to the US Code and not the underlying legislation. It would make things so much simpler.

Having said that, this was clearly my mistake in reading the legislation, and I want to thank Anonymous for bringing the mistake to my attention so that I can correct the error. I have made an appropriate correction to the blog post.

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