Energy & Environment

Bill targeting environmental regs threatened with veto

The White House issued a veto threat Wednesday against House legislation meant to slash environmental red tape and give states more sway over federal facilities.

The chamber is poised to vote Thursday on a consolidated package of three bills that was introduced by Reps. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), and Bob Latta (R-Ohio) and approved last year by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The White House late Wednesday offered a vehement objection the legislation, saying its provisions would undermine cleanup projects with urgent human health risks and stoke costly legal fights between the states and the federal government.

“The bill’s requirements could result in significant site cleanup delays, endangering public health and the environment,” the White House said in a statement issued late Wednesday.

The measure would remove requirements that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) review regulations under the Solid Waste Disposal Act every three years. Instead, it would let the EPA review these rules as appropriate.

By eliminating the requirement for periodic reviews, the bill would make the timing of review discretionary, critics say.

The legislation also aims to block the EPA from imposing overlapping regulations on states that have their own rules on solid waste disposal.

Other provisions would require all federally owned facilities to comply with state requirements on hazardous substances and require the president to consult with states before enforcing federal environmental law.

Also Wednesday, a coalition of more than 40 public interest groups issued a letter calling on Congress to oppose the legislation, known as the Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act of 2013.

Tags Cory Gardner Resource Conservation and Recovery Act United States Environmental Protection Agency
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