| Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 1916 (cps) To extend certain expiring Federal Aviation Administration authorizations for a 6-month period, and for other purposes. [Considered and Passed Senate] ...
S. 1916 (cps) To extend certain expiring Federal Aviation Administration authorizations for a 6-month period, and for other purposes. [Considered and Passed Senate] ...
106th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 1915 To enhance the services provided by the Environmental Protection Agency to small communities that are attempting to comply with national, State, and local environmental regulations. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES November 10, 1999 Mr. Jeffords (for himself, Mr. Crapo, Mr. Murkowski, Mr. Schumer, Mr. Harkin, Mr. Bryan, Mr. Burns, and Mr. Reid) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To enhance the services provided by the Environmental Protection Agency to small communities that are attempting to comply with national, State, and local environmental regulations. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Small Community Assistance Act of 1999''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. Congress finds that-- (1) small communities are concerned about improving the environmental quality of their surroundings; (2) many small communities are uncertain of the specific requirements of environmental regulations; (3) the involvement of small communities in the development of Federal environmental regulations often occurs late, if at all, in the rulemaking process; (4) small communities are often underrepresented in processes used to review regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency; (5) the limited scientific, technical, and professional capacity of many small communities makes understanding regulatory requirements very difficult; (6) specific provisions in certain environmental laws pose compliance problems for small communities; and (7) the Small Town Environmental Planning Task Force, established by section 109 of the Federal Facility Compliance Act of 1992 (42 U.S.C. 6908) to examine the relationship between the Environmental Protection Agency and small communities, recommends additional efforts to improve the services offered by the Environmental Protection Agency to small communities. SEC. 3. PURPOSE. The purpose of this Act is to foster a healthy environment in which people in small communities may enjoy a sustainable and continually improving quality of life. SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS. In this Act: (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. (2) Advisory committee.--The term ``advisory committee'' means the small community advisory committee established under section 5. (3) Agency.--The term ``Agency'' means the Environmental Protection Agency. (4) Small community.--The term ``small community'' means a county, parish, borough, or incorporated or unincorporated municipality with a population of fewer than 7,500 persons. SEC. 5. SMALL COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE. (a) Establishment.--The Administrator shall establish a small community advisory committee or reconstitute an existing small community advisory committee. (b) Membership.--The advisory committee shall be composed of representatives of-- (1) small communities and unincorporated areas of the United States, including at least 1 small community member from each of the 10 Agency regions; (2) Federal and State governmental agencies; and (3) public interest groups. (c) Duties.--The advisory committee shall-- (1) identify means to improve the working relationship between the Agency and small communities; (2) serve as a mechanism for involving small communities as early as practicable in the process of developing environmental regulations, guidance, and policies; (3) provide periodic reports to Congress on the Agency's success in meeting the needs of small communities; and (4) provide such other assistance to the Administrator as the Administrator considers appropriate. SEC. 6. REGULATORY REVIEW PLAN. The Administrator shall develop and implement a plan to increase the involvement of small communities in the regulatory review processes conducted under chapter 6 of title 5, United States Code (commonly known as the ``Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980''), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Public Law 104- 121; 5 U.S.C. 601 note), and title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). SEC. 7. REGIONAL OUTREACH TO SMALL COMMUNITIES. (a) Small Town Ombudsman Office.-- (1) Establishment.--To complement work on small communities at Agency headquarters, each regional office of the Agency shall establish and staff a Small Town Ombudsman Office. (2) Duties.--The primary responsibility of each regional Small Town Ombudsman Office shall be to serve as-- (A) an advocate for small communities; and (B) a facilitator for addressing small community concerns and programs. (3) Resources.--Using funds that are otherwise available to the Agency, the Administrator shall provide the regional Small Town Ombudsman Offices with such human and capital resources as are sufficient for the offices to carry out their functions in a timely and efficient manner. (b) Consultation Process.--Each regional Small Town Ombudsman Office shall establish a regular, on-going consultation process with small communities in the region, such as by use of a focus group, stakeholder network, or advisory board, to-- (1) serve as a mechanism for involving small communities in the process of implementing, creating, and informing the public about environmental regulations, guidance, and policies; and (2) provide such other assistance as the regional office considers appropriate. SEC. 8. SURVEY OF SMALL COMMUNITIES. (a) In General.--Every 5 years, the Small Town Ombudsman Office shall-- (1) conduct a survey of small communities; and (2) publish the results of the survey. (b) Purpose.--The purpose of the survey shall be to provide information to the Agency and others for use in regulatory planning, development, and outreach. (c) Information.--The survey shall collect information on-- (1) information sources used by small communities to learn of and implement environmental regulations; (2) the presence of facilities and activities affecting environmental quality in small communities; (3) the financial instruments used by small communities to fund the costs of environmentally related services; (4) persons in small communities that may be contacted for information on environmental compliance; (5) specific topic areas of regulation particularly relevant to small communities; (6) innovative examples of how small communities have complied with national, State, and local environmental regulations in order to protect environmental and public health; and (7) any other topic that the Administrator considers appropriate. SEC. 9. GUIDE FOR SMALL COMMUNITIES. (a) In General.--Not later than June 30, 1999, the Administrator shall produce and distribute to small communities a guide to Federal environmental requirements for small communities. (b) Contents.--The guide shall-- (1) describe all mandated environmental requirements applicable to small communities; and (2) provide Federal, regional, and State contacts for all such environmental requirements. (c) Updating.--Not less frequently than annually, the Administrator shall-- (1) review and update any parts of the guide that pertain to requirements that have changed; and (2) distribute guide amendments to small communities. SEC. 10. FEEDBACK PLAN. The Administrator shall develop and implement a plan for periodically obtaining feedback from small communities on the effectiveness of the Agency in-- (1) involving small communities in regulatory development and implementation; and (2) reaching out to small communities to provide educational and other assistance. SEC. 11. NO IMPOSITION OF COSTS ON SMALL COMMUNITIES. The Administrator shall not impose on any small community any cost incurred in carrying out this Act. SEC. 12. REPORT. Not later than the date that is 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to Congress a report describing the regulatory review plan developed under section 6, the feedback plan developed under section 10, and other activities conducted in carrying out this Act. SEC. 13. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act $5,000,000. <all>
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