This report provides an overview of S. 2290, 108th Congress, the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2004 (or FAIR Act of 2004). The bill is a revised version of S. 1125, 108th Congress, and would create the Office of Asbestos Disease Compensation to award damages to asbestos claimants on a no-fault basis. Asbestos claims could no longer be filed or pursued under state law, except for the enforcement of judgments no longer subject to any appeal or judicial review before the date of enactment of the bill.
Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemicals (i.e., chemical facilities) might be of interest to terrorists, either as targets for direct attacks meant to release chemicals into the community or as a source of chemicals for use elsewhere. Because few terrorist attacks have been attempted against chemical facilities in the United States, the risk of death and injury in the near future is estimated to be low, relative to the likelihood of accidents at such facilities or attacks on other targets using conventional weapons. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but risks may be increasing with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Available evidence indicates that many chemical facilities may lack adequate safeguards.
This report discusses the background and current status of CERCLA (the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980), which was a response to a growing desire for the federal government to ensure the cleanup of the nation's most contaminated sites to protect the public from potential harm. Concerns for Congress include funding for this act; most funding comes from potentially responsible parties (PRPs), but some also comes from the CERCLA established Hazardous Substance Superfund Trust Fund.
This report focuses on some of the federal regulatory programs overseeing storage of ammonium nitrate and anhydrous ammonia by retailers. It discusses federal occupational safety, environmental, and security statutes and regulations applicable to each chemical. Select policy issues regarding these federal regulatory programs will be highlighted.
Date: May 14, 2013
Creator: Shea, Dana A.; Schierow, Linda-Jo & Szymendera, Scott D.