Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Rules Committee to Consider Amendments to HR 2279

The House Rules Committee has published the proposed amendments that have been submitted for HR 2279, a bill that I discussed earlier (here and here). Two of the seven amendments that have been submitted for the Committee’s consideration deal with §106, Explosive Risks Planning Notification.

Both amendments (#4 and #5) were submitted by Rep. Connolly (D,VA). They both would change the one time reporting requirement currently in §106 to a repeating annual requirement. Amendment 4 adds a requirement to make the same report to the Administrator of the EPA and alternatively Amendment 5 adds a requirement to make the same report to the Secretary of DHS.

Neither amendment addresses the issue of this being a hidden requirement that most covered facilities will not readily be aware of. Nor do they address the fact that the wording of the amendment would not affect facilities that store fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate as that is not classified as either a flammable or an explosive under Appendix A, 6 CFR Part 27. Since the impetus for Rep. Waxman (D,CA) submitting the amendment that added what is now §106 was the West Fertilizer accident, this is more than a little surprising.

The Committee will meet this afternoon and determine if these or any other proposed amendments will be included in the rule for the consideration of this bill. That consideration is currently planned for tomorrow, though Waxman is trying to get that consideration postponed.

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