HR-481 is a power and land grab which removes control of energy and mineral development from the EPA

[Congressional Bills 115th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office] [H.R. 481 Introduced in House (IH)]

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115th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 481

To amend the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to authorize assignment to States of Federal agency environmental review responsibilities, and for other purposes.


                IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                        January 12, 2017

Mr. Calvert introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources


                             A BILL

To amend the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to authorize assignment to States of Federal agency environmental review responsibilities, and for other purposes.

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 ``Reducing Environmental Barriers to 

Unified Infrastructure and Land Development Act of 2017'' or the ``REBUILD Act''.

SEC. 2. ASSIGNMENT TO STATES OF FEDERAL ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW RESPONSIBILITIES.

Title I of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 

4331 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

``SEC. 106. ASSIGNMENT TO STATES OF ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW RESPONSIBILITIES WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN PROJECTS IN THE STATE.

``(a) Assumption of Responsibility.--
        ``(1) In general.--Subject to the other provisions of this 
    section, with the written agreement of the responsible Federal 
    official and a State, which may be in the form of a memorandum 
    of understanding, the responsible Federal official may assign, 
    and the State may assume, the responsibilities of the 
    responsible Federal official under the National Environmental 
    Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) with respect to one 
    or more covered Federal projects of the responsible Federal 
    official within the State.
        ``(2) Additional responsibility.--If a State assumes 
    responsibility under paragraph (1) the responsible Federal 
    official may assign to the State, and the State may assume, all 
    or part of the responsibilities of the responsible Federal 
    official for environmental review, consultation, or other 
    action required under any Federal environmental law pertaining 
    to the review or approval of covered projects of the 
    responsible Federal official.
        ``(3) Procedural and substantive requirements.--A State 
    shall assume responsibility under this section subject to the 
    same procedural and substantive requirements as would apply if 
    that responsibility were carried out by the responsible Federal 
    official.
        ``(4) Federal responsibility.--Any responsibility of the 
    responsible Federal official not explicitly assumed by the 
    State by written agreement under this section shall remain the 
    responsibility of the responsible Federal official.
        ``(5) No effect on authority.--Nothing in this section 
    preempts or interferes with any power, jurisdiction, 
    responsibility, or authority of an agency, other than the 
    agency of the responsible Federal official for a covered 
    project, under applicable law (including regulations) with 
    respect to the project.
``(b) State Participation.--
        ``(1) Application.--Not later than 180 days after the date 
    of enactment of this section, each responsible Federal official 
    shall promulgate regulations that establish requirements 
    relating to information required to be contained in any 
    application of a State to assume responsibility under this 
    section with respect to covered Federal projects of the 
    responsible Federal official, including, at a minimum--
                ``(A) the projects or classes of projects for which 
            the State anticipates exercising the authority that may 
            be granted under this section;
                ``(B) verification of the financial resources 
            necessary to carry out the authority that may be 
            assigned under this section; and
                ``(C) evidence of the notice and solicitation of 
            public comment by the State relating to assumption of 
            responsibility under this section by the State, 
            including copies of comments received from that 
            solicitation.
        ``(2) Public notice.--
                ``(A) In general.--Each State that submits an 
            application under this subsection shall give notice of 
            the intent of the State to submit such application not 
            later than 30 days before the date of submission of the 
            application.
                ``(B) Method of notice and solicitation.--The State 
            shall provide notice and solicit public comment under 
            this paragraph by publishing the complete application 
            of the State in accordance with the appropriate public 
            notice law of the State.
        ``(3) Selection criteria.--A responsible Federal official 
    may approve the application of a State under this section only 
    if--
                ``(A) the regulatory requirements under paragraph 
            (2) have been met;
                ``(B) the responsible Federal official determines 
            that the State has the capability, including financial 
            and personnel, to assume the responsibility; and
                ``(C) the head of the State agency having primary 
            jurisdiction over covered projects with respect to 
            which responsibility would be assigned to the State 
            pursuant to the application enters into a written 
            agreement with the responsible Federal official 
            described in subsection (c).
        ``(4) Other federal agency views.--If a State applies to 
    assume a responsibility of a responsible Federal official that 
    would have required the responsible Federal official to consult 
    with another Federal agency, the responsible Federal official 
    shall solicit the views of the Federal agency before approving 
    the application.
``(c) Written Agreement.--A written agreement under this section 

shall-- (1) be executed by the Governor of the State or the head of the State agency referred to in subsection (b)(3)(C); (2) be in such form as the responsible Federal official may prescribe; and (3) provide that the State-- (A) agrees to assume all or part of the responsibilities of the responsible Federal official described in subsection (a); (B) expressly consents, on behalf of the State, to accept the jurisdiction of the Federal courts for the compliance, discharge, and enforcement of any responsibility of the responsible Federal official assumed by the State; (C) certifies that State laws (including regulations) are in effect that-- (i) authorize the State to take the actions necessary to carry out the responsibilities being assumed; and (ii) are comparable to section 552 of title 5, including providing that any decision regarding the public availability of a document under those State laws is reviewable by a court of competent jurisdiction; and (D) agrees to maintain the financial resources necessary to carry out the responsibilities being assumed. (d) Jurisdiction.-- (1) In general.--The United States district courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any civil action against a State for failure to carry out any responsibility of the State under this section. (2) Legal standards and requirements.--A civil action under paragraph (1) shall be governed by the legal standards and requirements that would apply in such a civil action against the responsible Federal official had the responsible Federal official taken the actions in question. (3) Intervention.--The responsible Federal official shall have the right to intervene in any action described in paragraph (1). (e) Effect of Assumption of Responsibility.--A State that assumes responsibility under subsection (a) shall be solely responsible and solely liable for carrying out, in lieu of the responsible Federal official, the responsibilities assumed under subsection (a), until the termination of such assumption of responsibility. (f) Limitations on Agreements.--Nothing in this section permits a State to assume any rulemaking authority of the responsible Federal official under any Federal law. (g) Audits.-- (1) In general.--To ensure compliance by a State with any agreement of the State under subsection (c) (including compliance by the State with all Federal laws for which responsibility is assumed under subsection (a)), for each State participating in the program under this section, the responsible Federal official shall conduct-- (A) semiannual audits during each of the first 2 years of the effective period of the agreement; and (B) annual audits during each subsequent year of such effective period. (2) Public availability and comment.-- (A) In general.--An audit conducted under paragraph (1) shall be provided to the public for comment for a 30-day period. (B) Response.--Not later than 60 days after the date on which the period for public comment ends, the responsible Federal official shall respond to public comments received under subparagraph (A). (h) Report to Congress.--Each responsible Federal official shall submit to Congress an annual report that describes the administration of this section by such official. (i) Termination by Responsible Federal Official.--The responsible Federal official with respect to an agreement with a State under this section may terminate the agreement and any responsibility or authority of the State under this section with respect to such agreement, if-- (1) the responsible Federal official determines that the State is not adequately carrying out the responsibilities assumed by the State under this section; (2) the responsible Federal official provides to the State-- (A) notification of the determination of noncompliance; and (B) a period of at least 30 days during which to take such corrective action as the responsible Federal official determines is necessary to comply with the applicable agreement; and (3) the State, after the notification and period provided under subparagraph (B), fails to take satisfactory corrective action, as determined by the responsible Federal official. (j) Definitions.--In this section: (1) Covered federal project.--The term `covered Federal project' means-- (A)(i) except as provided in clause (ii) and subparagraph (B), any project that is funded by, carried out by, or subject to approval or disapproval by a responsible official, including any project for which a permit or other authorization by a responsible Federal official is required; and (ii) in the case of projects funded, carried out by, or subject to review, approval, or disapproval by the Secretary of the Army, and except as provided in subparagraph (B), includes only such projects of the Corps of Engineers; and (B) the preparation of any statement required by section 102(2)(C). (2) Responsible federal official.--The term `responsible Federal official' means-- (A) the Secretary of the Interior; (B) the Secretary of Transportation; (C) the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; (D) the Secretary of the Army; and (E) the head of a Federal agency, with respect to the preparation of statements under section 102(2)(C) for major Federal actions (as that term is used in that section) of the agency.''. <all>