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95034: Clean Air Act Issues

James E. McCarthy
Environment and Natural Resources Policy Division

Updated December 2, 1996



Legislative Issues Addressed in the 104th Congress
The Employee Commute Options Program
The Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program
The California Federal Implementation Plan
Other Congressional Activity
The Reformulated Gasoline Program
RFG Imports -- A Special Note
Oversight Hearings
Emerging Issues



The 104th Congress enacted four bills modifying provisions of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and held numerous oversight hearings, as EPA and the states continued to implement requirements of the Act's 1990 Amendments. The Amendments set deadlines for issuance of new regulations and attainment of air quality standards.

Substantial progress has been made in meeting the Act's objectives, but numerous issues remain on the horizon, including whether and how to revise the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, decisions regarding low emission and zero emission vehicles (LEVs/ZEVs), implementation of the Act's permit program, when to regulate methyl bromide to protect stratospheric ozone, and the desirability of additional regulation for sources of nitrogen oxides. In addition, reports to Congress on mercury and coal combustion, due soon, could raise the prospect of additional regulation of coal- fired power plants.

Implementing some of the Act's requirements has proven controversial. In the first session, the 104th Congress acted to revise, delay, or rescind several specific provisions of the 1990 Act, notably those involving Employee Commute Option (ECO) programs and inspection and maintenance (I/M) requirements for auto emission control systems.

On December 23, 1995, the President signed P.L. 104-70, which allows states with employee commute option programs to remove such requirements if they establish alternative methods to achieve equivalent emission reductions. P.L. 104-19, signed earlier, had prevented EPA from using FY1995 funds to enforce ECO requirements.

The amount of flexibility EPA will allow states in developing CAA programs has been a recurring theme. In September 1995, EPA announced policy changes that would give more flexibility to states implementing auto emission inspection and maintenance programs, allowing states to adopt programs that do not use IM240, a costly new test procedure. Congress also acted on the issue: in P.L. 104-19 and 104-59, it prevented EPA from disapproving state I/M programs for failure to use IM240. The first session also passed legislation that would prevent EPA from implementing stringent pollution controls in California. Under court order, EPA had promulgated a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) for three areas in California on February 14, 1995. P.L. 104-6 rescinded the FIP. As a result, California continued development of its own State Implementation Plan, which was approved by EPA in September 1996.

Another set of controversies has arisen around the Act's requirements for cleaner- burning reformulated gasoline (RFG). A program requiring the use of RFG in the nine most polluted areas began January 1, 1995. Controversies have included the role of ethanol in the RFG market and the standards for RFG imports from Venezuela. In February 1996, the World Trade Organization found that the United States had violated international trade agreements in the way it approved RFG for import. A U.S. response to the decision has not yet been adopted.

Despite controversies, the Clean Air Act appears to be contributing to an improvement in air quality nationwide. More than half of the 98 areas that did not meet air quality standards for ozone in 1990 now do so. Similar progress has been achieved with carbon monoxide: 28 of the 42 areas not in compliance in 1990 now meet the standard.


On November 27, 1996, the Environmental Protection Agency announced proposed new standards for particulates and ground-level ozone. The proposal begins a public comment period, leading to promulgation of new standards -- a process EPA is under court order to complete by June 28, 1997.

If promulgated as proposed, the new standards are expected to have broad implications for EPA, the states, and affected industries. The 105th Congress is almost certain to wish to review these implications.

In doing so, the Congress will have the benefit of an important new tool. Under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-121), Congress has 60 days to review major regulations promulgated by EPA and other regulatory agencies before they take effect. Enactment of a joint resolution of disapproval within the 60 days would prevent the rule from taking effect.



Comprehensive amendments to the Clean Air Act (CAA), enacted on November 15, 1990 (P.L. 101-549), included a new program to control acid rain, new standards for emissions of hazardous air pollutants, new requirements for motor vehicles, and stringent new requirements for improving urban air quality. While many of these provisions have been subject to controversy, the 104th Congress focused on the requirements imposed on urban areas not meeting air quality standards.

The Clean Air Act requires EPA to set and periodically review national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for six categories of pollution. Two of these standards (for ground-level ozone and carbon monoxide) have been particularly difficult to meet. Despite efforts to reduce air pollution, almost 100 areas with a combined population of 140 million, did not meet the ozone standard in 1990, and 42 areas, with a combined population of 55 million, were out of compliance on carbon monoxide.

The 1990 Act categorizes ozone nonattainment areas in one of five groups, according to the extent to which they exceed the NAAQS. Areas with the worst air pollution problems are allowed more time to meet the standards; they are also required to implement the most stringent air pollution controls. The Act allows some flexibility in determining what measures states will take to comply with the standards, but it also provides some mandatory controls that must be imposed in areas with the worst pollution. States develop and periodically revise state implementation plans (SIPs) detailing the programs they will implement to come into attainment with the NAAQS by the statutory deadlines.

It is the mandatory controls to be imposed in nonattainment areas that were the focus of legislative attention in the 104th Congress, particularly the Employee Commute Options (ECO) program, the Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) program for auto emission control equipment, and the provision for imposition of Federal Implementation Plans (FIPs) in areas that have not developed SIPs capable of meeting air quality standards.

Legislative Issues Addressed in the 104th Congress

The Employee Commute Options Program

The Clean Air Act requires that employers of 100 or more in the worst nine ozone nonattainment areas implement programs that would reduce the number of work- related vehicle trips by about 25%. The requirement, known as the employee commute options (ECO) program, has been unpopular in affected states. It affects approximately 28,000 employers and 11-12 million employees. Employers could offer incentives to their employees to encourage them to carpool, commute by public transportation, bicycle, or walk. In addition, an employer could provide vanpools or implement a guaranteed ride home program.

The program is often incorrectly viewed as mandating carpooling. Some employees have feared that they would be forced out of their cars, leaving them few or no options for getting to work. Others reportedly fear losing their jobs if they are unable to change their means of commuting. In some instances, employers may have misrepresented the cooperative nature of the program to their employees.

A major contention is that the ECO program is relatively ineffective at achieving emission reductions. If fully implemented, the ECO program could reduce emissions by 0.5 to 1%. EPA has called the potential impact of the program "minuscule." Depending on state program designs, it may be costly for employers to develop and implement trip reduction plans. Thus, states have sought more flexible approaches to implementing ECO programs that could reduce their cost.

In June 1994, EPA Administrator Carol Browner received a request from several Senators asking her to clarify how much flexibility EPA intended to provide states in developing approvable ECO program SIPs. The Administrator clarified three basic points. First, the CAA does not force employees to change their commuting habits. Employees have the option of accepting or rejecting an employer's incentives to give up solo driving. Second, employers who try but fail to meet trip reduction goals should not be penalized. EPA will approve SIPs that allow employers to avoid penalties if they make a good faith effort to comply. Third, EPA assured states that they would not be sanctioned with increased offset requirements or a loss of federal highway funding for failure to meet the trip reduction goals. As long as a state submitted an approvable employee commute options SIP, it would not be sanctioned.

Early in 1995, EPA went even further in trying to assure opponents of the ECO requirement that legislative fixes were not necessary. At a January 19, 1995, meeting with a group of House Members, Administrator Browner said that EPA would not enforce the ECO program. Later, Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, Mary Nichols, clarified that employers would still be required to develop ECO plans, but that EPA would not "double check those plans." She said, "We're not going to verify them. We're not going to enforce them." In a January 27, 1995 letter to Representative Manzullo, however, Administrator Browner seemed to back down on the Agency's "no enforcement" policy. She said that although EPA did not intend to enforce against individual employers, it was still the state's responsibility to do so if necessary.

In light of the uncertainty created by EPA's statements, some states and employers remained opposed to the ECO program and supported legislation to modify the requirement. In response, the 104th Congress enacted two provisions providing relief. P.L. 104-19, signed by the President on July 27, 1995, prevented EPA from using its FY1995 funds to implement the ECO program. Subsequent legislation signed by the President December 23 (P.L. 104-70) allows states that have already submitted ECO SIPs to remove them upon notifying EPA that alternative methods achieving equivalent emission reductions will be undertaken.

The Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program

A second issue that has proven controversial is the requirement for inspection and maintenance of auto emission control systems. At least seven bills were introduced in the 104th Congress to repeal or modify these requirements, and two provisions (in P.L. 104-19 and P.L. 104-59) were enacted.

The Clean Air Act requires areas in 23 states to implement "enhanced" vehicle inspection and maintenance (I/M) programs. The programs are designed to ensure that cars are properly maintained and that cars whose emission control systems are not functioning properly are detected and repaired.

In November 1992, EPA promulgated a performance standard for enhanced I/M program effectiveness that was based on a new test known as IM240. States that did not include the IM240 test in their enhanced I/M program would have found it difficult to meet the performance standard set forth in the rule. The IM240 test requires expensive new equipment that simulates actual driving conditions. It is designed to generate more accurate measurements of tailpipe emissions than previous testing methods.

Implementation of IM240 has proven troublesome, however. One problem is the additional cost to the testing facilities: the equipment required costs about $150,000 per testing lane, versus $15,000 to $40,000 for current testing equipment. In addition, states have had problems with the reliability of the IM240 test. Maine was the first state to implement an enhanced I/M program; due to a high number of false failures and reports of vehicle damage, Maine suspended the program after only 2 months. Other states have reported problems with the computer software used to run the IM240 test. This problem has not been universal, however; both Colorado and Arizona have implemented IM240 without experiencing major difficulties.

A third concern is that it takes longer to test an automobile using the IM240 test compared to existing emissions tests. In many states, there reportedly has been public opposition to the new test based on concerns that the longer testing time will lead to long lines and additional time spent complying. Citizens were also concerned about the cost of the test. The testing fee is expected to double to about $20 per vehicle in many areas. (EPA would allow the test to be given biennially, rather than annually, however, negating this cost difference.) More importantly, however, the new test would result in a higher failure rate, causing motorists to spend up to $450 in repairs. The limit, before waivers would be granted was generally $75 under previous I/M programs.

Compounding these problems was EPA's requirement that vehicles be tested at centralized state-run testing locations: test and repair functions are to be separated under IM240, to reduce the potential for fraud. Prior to the November 1992 rule, some states had existing testing programs where individuals could take their vehicles to a private garage for inspection, and mechanics there could fix any emissions problems that were detected. Alternatively, some states had centralized testing programs, but owners of failed vehicles could go to a private garage for repairs and retesting. EPA's rule would preclude either of these approaches. The rule is, therefore, expected to have a negative impact on garage owners who rely on emissions testing for a portion of their income and who have already invested in existing testing equipment.

In a meeting with several state Governors in December 1994, EPA announced that it would allow states flexibility in implementing I/M programs that do not comply with the rule, as long as they result in equivalent emission reductions. On September 7, 1995, EPA issued a final rule that clarifies the extent of flexibility that will be permitted. The new rule allowed for a "low-enhanced" program that is less stringent, but that will generate fewer emission reduction credits for the SIP. EPA will allow states to develop and resubmit I/M program SIPs that do not require the IM240 test procedure and that do not require centralized testing; however, states that do not implement centralized programs would receive a 50% discount in emission reduction credits.

Not satisfied with EPA's response, the 104th Congress passed two bills regarding the I/M requirements. The first, a rider attached to a supplemental appropriations bill (P.L. 104-19, enacted July 27, 1995), prevented EPA from using FY1995 funds to implement the IM240 requirement. The second, an amendment to the National Highway System Designation Act (P.L. 104-59, signed November 28, 1995), provided a longer-term approach. It prevents EPA from disapproving an I/M SIP on the basis of the 50% credit reduction for non-centralized programs. It requires that EPA grant interim approval to state programs, accepting a state's proposed credits, as long as they reflect good faith estimates. After an 18-month period, it requires that EPA grant final approval to a state program if data collected from operation of the program demonstrates that the proposed credits are appropriate.

Despite Congress's action, controversy has continued to plague state I/M programs, including the nation's largest, Smog Check II, a hybrid program now being implemented by the state of California. California's program will rely to a large extent on the use of remote sensing devices to identify "gross polluters." Once identified, a gross polluter will be subject to IM240 and required to make needed repairs with no cap on potential expenditures. This program was developed by the state as an alternative to requiring IM240 for all autos in enhanced IM areas, but it appears to be no less controversial. Given the continued controversies in California and elsewhere, I/M programs are likely to be among the air act provisions of interest to the next Congress when it convenes in January.

The California Federal Implementation Plan

Section 110(c) of the Clean Air Act requires that EPA promulgate a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) within 2 years after a state fails to submit a State Implementation Plan. In deciding a lawsuit brought under the 1977 CAA amendments, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered EPA to promulgate a FIP for California by February 15, 1995. Although California submitted its SIP on November 15, 1994, EPA did not have sufficient time to review the SIP submittal by the court deadline, and as a result, promulgated its FIP under court order February 14, 1995.

Congress acted quickly to rescind the FIP. On January 4, 1995, Representative Kim introduced a bill, H.R. 304, which would have eliminated the court-ordered deadline for promulgating the FIP, and ensured that no FIP could be imposed until a state's SIP submittal had been reviewed and rejected. Following promulgation of the FIP, Representative Bilbray introduced H.R. 1025, to rescind it. Language similar to that contained in H.R. 1025 was passed by Congress on April 6, 1995, and signed by the President (P.L. 104-6).

Freed from implementation of the FIP, California continued to pursue approval of its own SIP. EPA approved the SIP with some modifications, September 26, 1996.

Other Congressional Activity


Particularly during the first session of the 104th Congress, several changes to the Clean Air Act were proposed as part of the appropriations process. The House version of EPA's FY1996 appropriation (H.R. 2099) contained provisions and accompanying report language aimed at weakening or blocking several CAA programs. Included in the House bill were riders: blocking implementation of federal permit programs under Title V of the CAA in eight states involved in litigation against the Agency; prohibiting EPA from developing or enforcing standards for hazardous air pollution from petroleum refineries; blocking the extension of risk management plan requirements to the domestic oil and gas exploration and production and natural gas processing industry; restricting EPA's authority to set hazardous waste combustion standards; and delaying implementation of employee commute option and I/M programs. The President vetoed the bill, December 18, 1995. These riders were subsequently removed, but Congress eventually passed a version of the bill (P.L. 104-134; H.R. 3019) including a rider on reformulated gasoline (described below) and a rider blocking implementation of carbon monoxide control measures in Fairbanks, Alaska. The President signed the bill April 26.

Unlike the 1996 appropriation, the FY1997 EPA appropriation bill (H.R. 3666) contained few riders of any kind, and raised little controversy. (For additional information on the bill, see CRS Issue Brief 96028, Environmental Protection Agency: FY1997 Budget).

The Reformulated Gasoline Program

Since January 1, 1995, cleaner-burning reformulated gasoline (RFG) is required to be sold in the nine worst nonattainment areas in the country (Los Angeles, San Diego, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Houston, Milwaukee, and Chicago). Many expected the transition to reformulated gasoline to be plagued by supply disruptions and price increases up to 15 cents per gallon. Despite these predictions, implementation of the RFG program has been less costly and less troublesome than expected. There has, however, been some controversy over the effects of RFG additives, the role of ethanol in the RFG program, and gasoline imports from Venezuela.

When the RFG program began in Milwaukee, the state of Wisconsin received numerous health complaints that consumers linked to MTBE, a chemical used in some RFG. Other complaints included reductions in vehicle performance and fuel efficiency. The Governor of Wisconsin requested a temporary waiver of the program requirements, but was denied by EPA. In response, several bills were introduced in the 104th Congress [H.R. 1015 (Kleczka), H.R. 1052 (Neumann), S. 462 (Feingold), and S. 477 (Kohl)] that would have suspended or repealed the RFG requirement. However, no action was taken on any of these bills.

A second RFG issue concerned the role of ethanol in the program. The controversy over ethanol came to a head in September 1994 when a U.S. circuit court stayed implementation of an EPA rule that would have required that 30% of the oxygen content in RFG come from renewable sources, such as ethanol. On April 28, 1995, the stay became permanent, when a federal appeals court ruled that EPA did not have the authority to issue a renewable oxygenates mandate. Following this ruling, on July 10, 1995, the House Appropriations VA-HUD Subcommittee adopted report language directing EPA not to pursue regulatory action such as the renewable oxygenate requirement that would mandate market share for fuels or fuel additives.

RFG Imports -- A Special Note. In order to sell RFG, refiners must show that it meets EPA standards. To comply, a refiner must meet certain absolute standards for pollution-causing components, or prove that the gasoline has improved in quality relative to a baseline composed of gasoline produced by the same refiner during 1990.

Both options for demonstrating compliance are available to U.S. refiners. But foreign refiners can only earn EPA certification by showing satisfactory levels of regulated components -- often the tougher test.

In response to complaints by the Venezuelan national oil company, EPA began (in late- 1993) to implement a 1990 baseline for Venezuela. In September 1994, Congress intervened, prohibiting EPA -- via a rider attached to its FY 1995 appropriation -- from formulating a baseline for any foreign refiner. A similar rider was attached to EPA's 1996 appropriation (H.R. 3019) signed by the President April 26, 1996.

Venezuela, joined by Brazil, filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO). In February 1996, the WTO ruled against the United States, concluding that the differing treatment of U.S. and foreign gasoline constituted an unfair trade practice which must be remedied. The WTO went beyond RFG and included imports of conventional gasoline in the unfair trade ruling, as well. An appeal of the decision by the United States was denied April 29.

The decision must still be formally adopted by WTO members, following which the United States will be given 30 days to decide how to respond. Nevertheless, anticipating a final decision, the United States announced on June 19 that it would comply with the WTO decision; and on June 28, EPA published a Federal Register notice seeking to identify options available to meet its obligations under the WTO decision. In the wake of these actions, Congress abandoned the ban on implementing a foreign refiner baseline. Neither the House nor Senate version of EPA's FY1997 appropriation (H.R. 3666) contains the previous years' rider.

Oversight Hearings

In addition to enacting legislation, congressional committees held numerous oversight hearings on the Clean Air Act during the 104th Congress. The first of a series of hearings took place on February 9, 1995, before the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Committee on Commerce. EPA Administrator Carol Browner and several state Governors testified on implementation and enforcement of the Act. In March, the same subcommittee held hearings on the ECO and I/M programs. The subcommittee held additional hearings on the permit program (May 18), the RFG program (June 7), the air toxics program (June 29 and July 21), stratospheric ozone (August 1), and air quality standards (November 9). The Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health and Environment held a hearing on the Montreal Protocol (on ozone-depleting substances) January 25, 1996. The Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air, Wetlands, Private Property and Nuclear Safety also held hearings on I/M (June 29, 1995) and on permits (August 1).

Emerging Issues

Although the most controversial issues identified at the outset of the 104th Congress were addressed, a number of issues continue to be discussed, as EPA moves ahead with regulations implementing the 1990 Amendments. Among these issues are:

  • revision of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Under the Clean Air Act, EPA sets national standards for air quality, and is directed to review the standards every 5 years. The Agency has not met the review schedules for ozone and particulates, and was sued by the American Lung Association and others over its failure to review the particulate standard. In a settlement agreement, the Agency agreed to review and, if necessary, propose new standards for ozone and fine particulates by November 1996, and to promulgate standards by June 28, 1997.

On November 27, 1996, the Agency released a proposed new standard for fine particulates (referred to as PM2.5) and a new standard for ozone. Analyses by interested parties, including EPA, indicate that many areas now considered to be in compliance with the NAAQS will not meet the new standards. Under the proposed PM2.5 standard, EPA estimates that 56% of U.S. counties will not meet the standard (vs. 12% under the current requirement). For ozone, the number of counties out of compliance under the proposed standard is estimated to triple.

An increase in the number of nonattainment areas and a new method of measuring air quality would have broad implications for EPA, the states, and affected industries. As currently written, the Act makes specific reference to the current ozone standard and requires progress in meeting it. If the standard changes, this structure becomes an anomaly, requiring measured progress toward a standard that may no longer exist. Thus, major changes to the regulatory or legal structure could be required. Similarly, the adoption of a fine particulate standard would require a whole new system of monitoring, and the potential revision of regulations affecting numerous industries. The next Congress will almost certainly wish to review the implications of such new standards.

In conducting this review, the Congress will have an important new tool. Under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (P.L. 104-121), federal agencies promulgating major rules must submit to each House of Congress and the Comptroller General a copy of the rule and a cost- benefit analysis of it. Before the rule can take effect, the Congress is then given 60 days to pass a joint resolution of disapproval, should it desire to do so, under procedures specified in the Act. The revised NAAQS may be among the most important early tests of this new congressional power.

  • low emission vehicle (LEV) and zero emission vehicle (ZEV) requirements under Title II of the Act. Twelve Northeastern states and the District of Columbia, acting as the Ozone Transport Commission, have chosen to adopt the more- stringent California standards for new motor vehicles, including market share requirements for ZEVs. The auto industry has responded by proposing that EPA promulgate a national LEV standard (or "49-state car" requirement) more stringent than that required by law, in place of the Northeast states adopting California standards. In October 1995, EPA proposed standards similar to the auto industry offer, but it is not clear whether the Agency has authority to do so, or whether the Northeast states must adopt EPA's standards in place of their ZEV programs if the EPA proposal is promulgated. On November 18, 1996, EPA sent a final 49-state car rule to the Office of Management and Budget for review. The final rule did not address the question of whether the Northeast states could adopt ZEV requirements;
  • the desirability of additional regulation of sources of nitrogen oxides, a regulated pollutant in its own right as well as a contributor to the formation of ground-level ozone. Regulation is proceeding on three fronts, including Phase 2 of the acid rain program, New Source Performance Standards applicable to industrial and utility sources of the pollutants, and efforts by the Ozone Transport Commission to reduce ozone in the Northeastern states (for additional information on the New Source Performance Standards, see CRS Report 96-737, Nitrogen Oxides Emissions and Electric Utilities: Revising the NSPS);
  • the phase-out of production and imports of methyl bromide, an ozone-depleting pesticide. Under the Clean Air Act, phase-out is scheduled for January 1, 2001 -- substantially ahead of the international deadline (2010) set by the parties to the Montreal Protocol. Affected interests have begun to promote legislation to delay the U.S. deadline (for additional information, see CRS Report 94- 673, Stratospheric Ozone Depletion: The Potential Effects of Methyl Bromide and CRS Issue Brief 89021, Stratospheric Ozone Depletion: Regulatory Issues);
  • the permit program for major sources of air pollution, mandated by Title V of the 1990 amendments. For the first time, the 1990 amendments require a comprehensive permit program for sources of air pollution. Prior to 1990, the Act required the issuance of permits only for the construction of new and modified sources of air pollutants which resulted in a significant increase in emissions. The permit program was added to enhance CAA compliance by detailing for each facility all the emission control requirements to which it is subject. EPA is still in the process of issuing requirements for state and local permit programs. Many in industry and the states view these requirements as costly and burdensome (for additional discussion, see CRS Report 95-966, Environmental Protection Agency FY1996 Appropriations: Analyses of House-Passed Riders);
  • implementation of Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards for sources of hazardous air pollutants, a major new program required under Title III of the 1990 Amendments;
  • mercury standards for coal-fired power plants. Under the 1990 Amendments, EPA was required to conduct a study of hazards of emissions from electric utilities by November 1993, and a separate study of mercury emissions from utilities and other sources by November 1994. Neither study has been released. Their release may generate pressure for additional regulation of coal-fired power plants.

Finally, over the last year there has been occasional discussion of broad legislation to address a wide range of clean air issues. In November 1995, Senator Faircloth began circulating draft legislation that would have amended several CAA programs including ECO, I/M, permits, MACT, enhanced monitoring, and sanctions. The bill was not introduced. In the House, a broad package of amendments was introduced on May 23, 1996, by Representative Joe Barton, whose Commerce subcommittee held most of the oversight hearings on the Act in this Congress. The bill, H.R. 3519, addressed I/M, permits, MACT, SIPs, RFG, emission trading, and the setting of National Ambient Air Quality Standards. About the same time, H.R. 3446, another broad-ranging air bill was introduced by Representative Steve Stockman. Neither bill was acted upon.


H.R. 46 (Gekas) / S. 248 (Gregg)
Delays for 2 years the required implementation date for enhanced vehicle I/M programs under the Clean Air Act. Requires EPA to reissue regulations relating to I/M programs. H.R. 46 introduced January 4, 1994; referred to Committee on Commerce. S. 248 introduced January 19, 1995; referred to Committee on Environment and Public Works.

H.R. 304 (Kim) / H.R. 1025 (Bilbray) / H.R. 1158 / H.R. 889
Rescinds the Federal Implementation Plan for California promulgated by EPA. H.R. 304 introduced January 4, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce. H.R. 1025 introduced February 23, 1995, referred to Committee on Commerce. H.R. 1158, containing provisions similar to H.R. 1025, passed House March 16, 1995, and passed Senate April 6, 1995. Conference Report on H.R. 889, containing similar provisions, passed House and Senate April 6, 1995, and was signed into law April 10, 1995 (P.L. 104-6).

H.R. 307 (Klink)
Requires EPA to revise and reissue regulations for automobile I/M programs, allowing states and opportunity to revise SIPs based on the new requirements. Introduced January 4, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce.

H.R. 325 (Manzullo) / S. 328 (Santorum)
Amends the Clean Air Act to make employee commute options programs optional. H.R. 325 introduced January 4, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce. S. 328 introduced February 1, 1995; referred to Committee on Environment and Public Works.

H.R. 473, H.R. 474, H.R. 475, H.R. 476, H.R. 477, H.R. 478, H.R. 479, H.R. 480 (DeLay)
A series of bills repealing various requirements of the CAA, including air toxics provisions (H.R. 473), acid rain provisions (H.R. 474), control of ozone depleting substances (H.R. 475), more stringent auto emission standards (H.R. 476), trip reduction programs (H.R. 478), and inspection and maintenance programs (H.R. 480). Introduced January 11, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce.

H.R. 495 (Upton)
Delays for 2 years implementation of the vehicle inspection and maintenance requirement. Introduced January 11, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce.

H.R. 581 (Hoekstra)
Allows areas that do not contribute more than 35% of ozone concentrations to comply with the requirements for marginal nonattainment areas. Introduced January 19, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce.

H.R. 1015 (Kleczka) / S. 462 (Feingold) / S. 477 (Kohl)
Temporarily suspends the RFG rules until EPA demonstrates a lack of health effects from the program. H.R. 1015 introduced February 22, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce. S. 462 introduced February 22, 1995; referred to Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. 477 introduced February 27, 1995; referred to Committee on Environment and Public Works.

H.R. 1052 (Neumann)
Amends the CAA to repeal the RFG provisions and the provisions relating to work- related vehicle trips. Introduced February 24, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce.

H.R. 1255 (Schiff)
Amends the CAA to extend the deadline for the imposition of sanctions under Section179 of the Act. Introduced March 15, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce.

H.R. 1582 (Cunningham)
Amends the CAA to provide for the reclassification of downwind nonattainment areas. Introduced May 9, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce.

H.R. 2211 (Richardson)
Establishes requirements for solid waste and hazardous waste incinerators. Introduced August 4, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce.

H.R. 2230 (Miller)
Makes a regulatory correction concerning methyl bromide to meet the obligations of the Montreal Protocol without placing the farmers of the United States at a competitive disadvantage versus foreign growers. Introduced August 9, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce and the Committee on Agriculture.

H.R. 2299 (Bereuter)
Amends CAA to require that motorcycles be defined as having a curb mass less than or equal to 1749 pounds. Introduced September 12, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce.

H.R. 2327 (Sensenbrenner)
Allows for a waiver during non-ozone season of certain reformulated gas requirements. Introduced September 13, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce.

H.R. 2367 (Doolittle)
Amends the CAA to further protect and enhance the public interest by ensuring an orderly transition from CFCs and halons to substitute compounds. Introduced September 20, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce and Committee on Ways and Means.

H.R. 2484 (Minge)
Amends the CAA to encourage the use of renewable oxygenates in the reformulated gasoline program. Introduced October 17, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce.

H.R. 2637 (Bilbray)
Provides for a study of certain cross-border sources of air pollution. Introduced November 15, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce.

H.R. 2645 (Thornberry)
Permits freon to be used for home, automobile, and agricultural air conditioning equipment. Introduced November 15, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce.

H.R. 2682 (Solomon)
Amends the CAA to provide additional reductions of SO2 and NOx emissions in regions contributing to acid deposition in the Adirondacks. Introduced November 28, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce.

H.R. 2835 (Pallone)
To reduce the risk of mercury pollution through use reduction, recycling, and reduction of emissions. Introduced December 22, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce.

H.R. 2988 (McKeon)
Amends CAA to provide that traffic signal synchronization projects are exempt from certain requirements of EPA rules. Introduced February 28, 1996; referred to Committee on Commerce. Reported, amended, September 18, 1996 (H. Rept. 104-807); passed House, amended, September 24, 1996; passed Senate, September 27, 1996; presented to the President September 30, 1996.

H.R. 3172 (P. Kennedy)
Establishes a commission to develop strategies and policies to mitigate the environmental impacts associated with electric utility restructuring. Introduced March 27, 1996; referred to Committee on Commerce.

H.R. 3446 (Stockman)
Regulatory Relief and Job Preservation Act of 1996. Title I amends the Clean Air Act to repeal or modify certain requirements concerning enhanced I/M, RFG, permits, ozone-depleting chemicals, hazardous air pollutants, ozone standards, and attainment designations. Introduced May 10, 1996; referred to Committees on Commerce and Ways and Means.

H.R. 3518 (Bilbray)
Amends the Clean Air Act to permit exclusive application of state regulations regarding RFG in certain areas. Introduced May 23, 1996; referred to Committee on Commerce.

H.R. 3519 (Barton)
Amends the Clean Air Act to provide greater flexibility to states and regulated entities, to extend the life of operating permits, to establish greater certainty in the RFG program, and to require EPA to take cost and weather conditions into account when setting NAAQS, among other provisions. Introduced May 23, 1996; referred to Committee on Commerce.

S. 235 / S. 236 (Hutchison)
Bills that would repeal mandatory vehicle inspection and maintenance, and repeal the employee commute options requirement. Introduced Jan 18, 1995; referred to Committee on Environment and Public Works.

S. 375 (Abraham) / S. 721 (Snowe) / H.R. 1602 (Longley)
Imposes a moratorium on CAA sanctions for marginal and moderate ozone nonattainment areas and for other purposes. S. 375 introduced February 8, 1995; referred to Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. 721 introduced April 24, 1995; referred to Committee on Environment and Public Works. H.R. 1602 introduced May 10, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce.

S. 490 (Grassley) / H.R. 1900 (Nussle)
Amends the CAA to exempt agriculture-related facilities from certain permitting requirements. S. 490 introduced March 2, 1995; referred to Committee on Environment and Public Works. H.R. 1900 introduced June 20, 1995; referred to Committee on Commerce.

S. 622 (Levin)
Amends the CAA to provide that a state containing an ozone nonattainment area that does not significantly contribute to nonattainment in its own area or any other area shall be treated as satisfying certain requirements if the state makes certain submissions. Introduced March 24, 1995; referred to Committee on Environment and Public Works.

S. 767 (Domenici)
Amends the CAA to extend the deadline for the imposition of sanctions for vehicle I/M programs. Introduced May 9, 1995; referred to Committee on Environment and Public Works.

S. 1021 (Hutchison)
Amends the CAA to extend the primary standard attainment date for moderate ozone nonattainment areas. Introduced July 11, 1995; referred to Committee on Environment and Public Works.


U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Commerce. Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Implementation and Enforcement of Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Hearing, 104th Congress, 1st session. February 9, 1995. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1995. 233 p.

-----Clean Air Act Amendments (Inspection and Maintenance Programs). Hearing, 104th Congress, 1st session. March 23-24, 1995. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1995. 349 p.

-----Clean Air Act Amendments (Title V Permits). Hearing, 104th Congress, 1st session. May 18, 1995. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1995. 114 p.

-----Clean Air Act Amendments (Title II -- Reformulated Gasoline Program). Hearing, 104th Congress, 1st session. June 7, 1995. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1995. 70 p.

-----Clean Air Act Amendments (Title III -- Hazardous Air Pollutants). Hearing, 104th Congress, 1st session. June 29 and July 21, 1995. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1996. 253 p.

-----Clean Air Act Amendments (Title VI -- Ozone Depleting Substances). Hearing, 104th Congress, 1st session. August 1, 1995. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1996. 111 p.

-----Clean Air Act Amendments (Title I -- National Ambient Air Quality Standards). Hearing, 104th Congress, 1st session. November 9, 1995. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1996. 135 p.

-----Subcommittee on Health and Environment. Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and the Impact of the Seventh Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol. Hearing, 104th Congress, 2nd session. January 25, 1996. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1996. 53 p.

U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Environment and Public Works. Subcommittee on Clean Air, Wetlands, Private Property, and Nuclear Safety. Clean Air Act: Motor Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program. Hearing, 104th Congress, 1st session. June 29, 1995. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1996. 113 p.

----- Clean Air Act: Title V Industrial Permitting Requirements. Hearing, 104th Congress, 1st session. August 1, 1995. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1995. 231 p.

U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Environment and Public Works. Three Years Later: Report Card on the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. A report prepared by the Majority and Minority Staffs of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. November 15, 1993.


U.S. General Accounting Office. Air Pollution: Limited New Data on Inspection and Maintenance Program's Effectiveness, Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Commerce, House of Representatives. March 1996. 29 p. GAO/RCED-96-63.

----- Air Pollution: State Planning Requirements Will Continue to Challenge EPA and the States, Report to the Chairman, Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives. June 1993. 31 p. GAO/RCED-93-113.

----- Motor Fuels: Issues Related to Reformulated Gasoline, Oxygenated Fuels, and Biofuels, Report to the Honorable Tom Daschle. June 1996. 64 p. GAO/RCED-96-121.

CRS Issue Briefs

CRS Issue Brief 89021. The Stratospheric Ozone Layer: Regulatory Issues, by Larry Parker and David E. Gushee. (Updated regularly)

CRS Reports

CRS Report 94-613 ENR. Ethanol and Reformulated Gasoline: The Renewable Oxygenate Standard, by Susan L. Mayer. 6 p.

CRS Report 95-850 ENR. Implementation of the Reformulated Gasoline Program, by Susan L. Mayer, Lawrence Kumins, and Migdon Segal. 26 p.

CRS Report 95-234 ENR. Implementing the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990: Where Are We Now?, by Susan L. Mayer [Washington] 1995. 12 p.

CRS Report 96-737. Nitrogen Oxides Emissions and Electric Utilities: Revising the NSPS, by Larry Parker. 6 p.

CRS Report 94-743 ENR. Venezuela Gasoline Ban -- A Fact Sheet, by Lawrence Kumins. 2 p.