Thursday, August 11, 2022

HR 8352 Introduced – Fence Line Monitoring

Last month, Rep Blunt-Rochester (D,DE) introduced HR 8352, the Public Health Air Quality Act of 2022. This is a companion measure to S 4510, with nearly identical language. The differences between the two bills are entirely editorial, adding repetitive regulatory references in three locations in the bill.

The bill would require the EPA to establish fence line monitoring equipment at facilities that store, use, or manufacture certain hazardous chemicals to monitor the release of those chemicals into the local environment. It would also require a wide variety of facilities to conduct point and perimeter monitoring for hazardous chemical emissions. The bill would authorize $277 million to fund the various programs of the bill.

Moving Forward

Blunt-Rochester and three of her 12 cosponsors {McEachin (D,VA), Barragán (D,CA), Castor (D,FL), Rush (D,IL)} are members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to which the bill was assigned for consideration. This means that there should be sufficient influence to see the bill considered in committee. Because of the extensive costs associated with the new facility monitoring requirements, I would expect organized opposition to the bill, split mainly along party lines. I suspect that the bill could be approved in Committee on a party-line vote. This would, however, mean that the only way the bill could come to the floor in the House would be under regular order, with a full debate and amendment process. While the bill could pass along party lines, I do not think that it would be a high-enough priority to the leadership this late in the session to take up the necessary floor time for consideration.

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