Committee Approves First-Ever FEMA Reauthorization & Bills to Reduce Regulatory Red Tape

Oct 29, 2013

Washington, DC – The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure today approved a bill that would be the first ever reauthorization of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and would improve the Nation’s emergency management capabilities, modernize and strengthen critical components of the preparedness and response system, and support emergency response personnel.  The Committee also approved several bills to address Clean Water Act regulatory hurdles for states, local governments, businesses, water districts, farmers, ranchers and others.

The Committee approved the FEMA Reauthorization Act of 2013 (H.R.  3300) by voice vote.  This legislation was introduced by Full Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and is cosponsored by Committee Ranking Member Nick J. Rahall, II (D-WV), Emergency Management Subcommittee Chairman Lou Barletta (R-PA), and Subcommittee Ranking Member André Carson (D-IN).

H.R. 3300, which reauthorizes FEMA through Fiscal Year 2016, also authorizes the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), establishes clear system requirements and capabilities of IPAWS, provides a clear framework for the development of IPAWS, and ensures stakeholders – including federal, state, local and private sector entities have a clear method of providing input through a temporary advisory committee. The bill also reauthorizes the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Response System, codifies the current USAR Response System in statute, and clarifies liabilities and compensation issues related to participants in the system.  Click here for more information about H.R. 3300.

In addition to the FEMA Reauthorization Act, the Committee approved the following measures by voice vote:

  • H.R. 935, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2013, a bill introduced by Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-OH) to prevent the unnecessary and duplicative regulation, under multiple federal laws, of approved and proper pesticides applications.
  • H.R. 311, the Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship (FUELS) Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR), to ease unnecessary restrictions on farmers related to fuel storage tanks and their related inspection and certification requirements. 
  • H.R. 2026, the Silviculture Regulatory Consistency Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), clarifies that forest roads and silviculture activities were never intended to be regulated as point sources under the Clean Water Act – a clarification that conforms with long-standing EPA practice, but is necessary to prevent ongoing and needless legal challenges. 

More information about today’s markup, including legislative text and video, is available here

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