Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 516 (is) To benefit consumers by promoting competition in the electric power industry, and for other purposes. [Introduced in Senate] ...

S. 516 (is) To benefit consumers by promoting competition in the electric power industry, and for other purposes. [Introduced in Senate] ...

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  1st Session
                                 S. 515

   To provide additional authority to the Office of Ombudsman of the 
                    Environmental Protection Agency.



                             March 5, 2003

   Mr. Crapo (for himself, Mr. Jeffords, Mr. Allard, Mr. Thomas, Mr. 
 Specter, Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Santorum, and Mr. Grassley) introduced the 
 following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on 
                      Environment and Public Works


                                 A BILL

   To provide additional authority to the Office of Ombudsman of the 
                    Environmental Protection Agency.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Ombudsman Reauthorization Act of 


    Section 2008 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act (42 U.S.C. 6917) is 
amended to read as follows:


    ``(a) Definitions.--In this section:
            ``(1) Agency.--The term `Agency' means the Environmental 
        Protection Agency.
            ``(2) Deputy ombudsman.--The term `Deputy Ombudsman' means 
        any individual appointed by the Ombudsman under subsection 
            ``(3) Office.--The term `Office' means the Office of the 
        Ombudsman established by subsection (b)(1).
            ``(4) Ombudsman.--The term `Ombudsman' means the director 
        of the Office.
    ``(b) Establishment.--
            ``(1) In general.--There is established within the Agency 
        an office to be known as the `Office of the Ombudsman'.
            ``(2) Oversight.--
                    ``(A) In general.--The Office shall be an 
                independent office within the Agency.
                    ``(B) Structure.--To the maximum extent 
                practicable, the structure of the Office shall conform 
                to relevant professional guidelines, standards, and 
            ``(3) Head of office.--
                    ``(A) Ombudsman.--The Office shall be headed by an 
                Ombudsman, who shall--
                            ``(i) be appointed by the President by and 
                        with the advice and consent of the Senate; and
                            ``(ii) report directly to the 
                    ``(B) Qualifications for and restrictions on 
                employment.--A person appointed as Ombudsman--
                            ``(i) shall have experience as an ombudsman 
                        in a Federal, State, or local government 
                        entity; and
                            ``(ii) shall not have been an employee of 
                        the Agency at any time during the 1-year period 
                        before the date of appointment.
                    ``(C) Term.--The Ombudsman--
                            ``(i) shall serve for a term of 5 years; 
                            ``(ii) may be reappointed for not more than 
                        1 additional term.
                    ``(D) Removal.--
                            ``(i) In general.--The President may remove 
                        or suspend the Ombudsman from office only for 
                        neglect of duty or malfeasance in office.
                            ``(ii) Communication to congress.--If the 
                        President removes or suspends the Ombudsman, 
                        the President shall communicate the reasons for 
                        the removal or suspension to Congress.
    ``(c) Duties.--The Ombudsman shall--
            ``(1) receive, and render assistance concerning, any 
        complaint, grievance, or request for information submitted by 
        any person relating to any program or requirement under--
                    ``(A) this Act;
                    ``(B) the Comprehensive Environmental Response, 
                Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9601 
                et seq.); or
                    ``(C) any other program administered by the Office 
                of Solid Waste and Emergency Response of the Agency; 
            ``(2) conduct investigations, make findings of fact, and 
        make nonbinding recommendations to the Administrator concerning 
        the programs and requirements described in paragraph (1).
    ``(d) Powers and Responsibilities.--In carrying out this section, 
the Ombudsman--
            ``(1) may investigate any action of the Agency without 
        regard to the finality of the action;
            ``(2) may select appropriate matters for action by the 
            ``(3) may--
                    ``(A) prescribe the methods by which complaints 
                shall be made to, and received and addressed by, the 
                    ``(B) determine the scope and manner of 
                investigations made by the Office; and
                    ``(C) determine the form, frequency, and 
                distribution of conclusions and recommendations of the 
            ``(4) may request the Administrator to provide the 
        Ombudsman notification, within a specified period of time, of 
        any action taken on a recommendation of the Ombudsman;
            ``(5) may request, and shall be granted by any Federal 
        agency or department, assistance and information that the 
        Ombudsman determines to be necessary to carry out this section;
            ``(6) may examine any record of, and enter and inspect 
        without notice any property under the administrative 
        jurisdiction of--
                    ``(A) the Agency; or
                    ``(B) any other Federal agency or department 
                involved in a matter under the 
administrative jurisdiction of the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency 
Response of the Agency;
            ``(7) may--
                    ``(A) issue a subpoena to compel any person to 
                appear to give sworn testimony concerning, or to 
                produce documentary or other evidence determined by the 
                Ombudsman to be reasonable in scope and relevant to, an 
                investigation by the Office; and
                    ``(B) seek enforcement of a subpoena issued under 
                subparagraph (A) in a court of competent jurisdiction;
            ``(8) may carry out and participate in, and cooperate with 
        any person or agency involved in, any conference, inquiry on 
        the record, public hearing on the record, meeting, or study 
        that, as determined by the Ombudsman--
                    ``(A) is material to an investigation conducted by 
                the Ombudsman; or
                    ``(B) may lead to an improvement in the performance 
                of the functions of the Agency;
            ``(9) may administer oaths and hold hearings in connection 
        with any matter under investigation by the Office;
            ``(10) may engage in alternative dispute resolution, 
        mediation, or any other informal process that the Ombudsman 
        determines to be appropriate to carry out this section;
            ``(11) may communicate with any person, including Members 
        of Congress, the press, and any person that submits a 
        complaint, grievance, or request for information under 
        subsection (c)(1); and
            ``(12) shall administer a budget for the Office.
    ``(e) Administration.--
            ``(1) In general.--The Ombudsman shall--
                    ``(A)(i) appoint a Deputy Ombudsman for each region 
                of the Agency; and
                    ``(ii) hire such other assistants and employees as 
                the Ombudsman determines to be necessary to carry out 
                this section; and
                    ``(B) supervise, evaluate, and carry out personnel 
                actions (including hiring and dismissal) with respect 
                to any employee of the Office.
            ``(2) Delegation of authority.--The Ombudsman may delegate 
        to other employees of the Office any responsibility of the 
        Ombudsman under this section except--
                    ``(A) the power to delegate responsibility;
                    ``(B) the power to issue subpoenas; and
                    ``(C) the responsibility to make recommendations to 
                the Administrator.
            ``(3) Contact information.--The Ombudsman shall maintain, 
        in each region of the Agency, a telephone number, facsimile 
        number, electronic mail address, and post office address for 
        the Ombudsman that are different from the numbers and addresses 
        of the regional office of the Agency located in that region.
            ``(4) Reports.--The Ombudsman--
                    ``(A) shall, at least annually, publish in the 
                Federal Register and submit to the Administrator, the 
                President, the Committee on Environment and Public 
                Works of the Senate, and the Committee on Energy and 
                Commerce of the House of Representatives a report on 
                the status of health and environmental concerns 
                addressed in complaints and cases brought before the 
                Ombudsman in the period of time covered by the report;
                    ``(B) may issue reports, conclusions, or 
                recommendations concerning any other matter under 
                investigation by the Office;
                    ``(C) shall solicit comments from the Agency 
                concerning any matter under investigation by the 
                Office; and
                    ``(D) shall include any comments received by the 
                Office in written reports, conclusions, and 
                recommendations issued by the Office under this 
    ``(f) Penalties.--An investigation conducted by the Ombudsman under 
this section constitutes--
            ``(1) a matter under section 1001 of title 18, United 
        States Code; and
            ``(2) a proceeding under section 1505 of title 18, United 
        States Code.
    ``(g) Employee Protection.--
            ``(1) In general.--No employer may discharge any employee, 
        or otherwise discriminate against any employee with respect to 
        compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment of 
        the employee, because the employee (or any person acting at the 
        request of the employee) complied with any provision of this 
            ``(2) Complaint.--Any employee that, in the opinion of the 
        employee, is discharged or otherwise discriminated against by 
        any person in violation of paragraph (1) may, not later than 
        180 days after the date on which the violation occurs, file a 
        complaint in accordance with section 211 of the Energy 
        Reorganization Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5851).
    ``(h) Applicability.--
            ``(1) In general.--This section--
                    ``(A) does not limit any remedy or right of appeal; 
                    ``(B) may be carried out notwithstanding any 
                provision of law to the contrary that provides that an 
                agency action is final, not reviewable, or not subject 
                to appeal.
            ``(2) Effect on procedures for grievances, appeals, or 
        administrative matters.--The establishment of the Office does 
        not affect any procedure concerning grievances, appeals, or 
        administrative matters under this Act or any other law 
        (including regulations).
    ``(i) Authorization of Appropriations.--
            ``(1) In general.--There are authorized to be appropriated 
        to carry out this section--
                    ``(A) $3,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2004 and 
                    ``(B) $4,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 
                through 2009; and
                    ``(C) $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 
                through 2013.
            ``(2) Separate line item.--In submitting the annual budget 
        for the Federal Government to Congress, the President shall 
        include a separate line item for the funding for the Office.''.

Pages: 1

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