The Relief Report

A newsletter covering regulatory reform efforts in Washington and across America, published by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 20 F Street NW, Suite 700 , Washington, D.C. 20001 (202) 507-6398, Fax (301) 498-1301.

Issue #31 * November 9, 1995 * David A. Ridenour, Editor

Hill Watch - Regulatory relief initiatives on Capitol Hill

Key Regulatory Reform Initiatives Approved as Amendment to Debt Limit Extension Bill

The House approved significant elements of the regulatory reform agenda -- which had been approved by the House earlier this year, but stalled in the Senate -- as an amendment to the Debt Limit Extension bill today in a 257-165 vote. The amendment includes Cost-Benefit Analysis and Risk Assessment provisions with a Supermandate and judicial review; Regulatory Flexibility Act amendments; Regulatory Accounting; repeal of the Delaney Clause; and the Regulatory Review Act (S. 219). The vote was viewed as a stunning victory for regulatory relief, given the success last week of a motion sponsored by Representative Louis Stokes (D-OH) instructing House conferees to delete the EPA Riders from the VA, HUD and Independent Agencies appropriations bill. The measure now goes to the Senate.

Superfund Reform Bill Not So Super Say Some Regulatory Relief Advocates

On November 7, Michael Oxley (R-OH), Chairman of the Commerce Committee's Commerce, Trade and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee, Commerce Committee Chairman Tom Bliley (R-VA) and Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, held a Capitol Hill press conference to announce amendments to the Reform of Superfund Act (ROSA), H.R. 2500, that they said would expand support for the reform measure while guaranteeing relief for America's small businesses. "I have some very good news: Superfund's reign of terror over small businesses is about to come to an end," said Representative Oxley. "I intend to offer amendment that will ensure that small businesses across the country will -- for the first time -- be treated fairly in spite of Superfund's inherently unfair liability system."Some regulatory relief advocates aren't so sure. H.R. 2500 -- with the amendments -- would exempt small businesses that contribute less than 1% of waste to Superfund sites from retroactive liability (at sites designated prior to 1987). But in a move that is sure to be a boon to trial lawyers, the measure would require a liable firm -- or potentially responsible party (PRP) -- to pay the attorney fees of a smaller PRP, if the larger firm nominates the smaller firm as a PRP in error. This represents a real problem for the larger firm as it has no way of determining whether or not the smaller PRP has contributed less than 1% of the site waste and promises to pit small firms against large ones in endless litigation. H.R. 2500 also provides a special liability exemption for battery and used oil recycling sites -- leading some groups to cry foul. "The recycling issue should not be addressed at the expense [of other parties]," Paul Hirsh of the Chemical Manufacturers Association, told the Bureau of National Affairs (November 8 issue). Even the National Federation of Independent Business, which has endorsed H.R. 2500, has expressed some reservations about the compromise language. "Although NFIB believes that repealing retroactive liability is the best and fairest way to reform Superfund, Chairman Oxley's amendments would get the vast majority of small businesses out from under the horrendous liability scheme."

Western Representatives Press for Delisting of Stephen's Kangaroo Rat

Representatives Ken Calvert (R-CA), Don Young (R-AK), Sonny Bono (R-CA), Ron Packard (R-CA), Jay Kim (R-CA), Richard Pombo (R-CA) and Jerry Lewis (R-CA) sent a duplicate of the Riverside County Farm Bureau's petition to have the Stephen's kangaroo rat delisted as an endangered species to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on October 31. The Farm Bureau learned from the Carlsbad office of the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) 75-days after submitting their original petition -- and 15-days before a 90-day finding period was to expire -- that the FWS did not have the petition materials. The Farm Bureau has argued that the "K-Rat" should have never been listed in the first place. "There is an abundance of information that indicates the Service knew the species was more widespread, prolific and persistent than they were saying when they listed it in 1988," said Mark Draper, president of the Farm Bureau. "Yet the Service just ignored that favorable information, covered over the gaping holes in the in the information they did use, and went ahead and listed it as endangered anyway." For more information, contact the Riverside County Farm Bureau at (909)788-7092.

Action Items - What you can do to promote the regulatory relief agenda

Regulatory Relief Advocates Urge Calls to Senate in Support of Regulatory Relief Provisions of Debt Extension

Regulatory Relief advocates are urging calls to Senate offices in support of retaining the regulatory reform provisions included in the Debt Limit Extension bill approved by amendment in the House. Particular attention, they say, should be devoted to moderate Republican and conservative Democrat Senators. Calls should be made early and often, they say.

Victims' Corner - Stories of personal tragedy or government folly

Making a Victim of Communism -- and Nazism -- Feel at Home

Saul Herscovici, the Romanian-born president of Power Engineering and Manufacturing in Waterloo, Iowa has said, "I was born and grew up under the Nazi system and Communist system... I am more frightened by a federal inspector on my property than my father was when a Nazi or a Communist came on his property." Herscovici has been on a crusade against Iowa's OSHA since 1993, when he was fined $2,500 for putting a power cord on a spool and hanging it on a hook. OSHA dropped the fine in November 1993, but Herscovici continues his public campaign.

Bulletin Board - News from Regulatory Relief Groups

New Tobacco Regulations to Cost Thousands of Jobs, New Study Concludes

Last week, the Small Business Survival Committee released analyzing the potential economic impact of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's proposed regulations of tobacco. The report estimates that tobacco companies spend some $6.1 billion on direct promotion and advertising, employing 78,836 people in the United States. The report concludes that, by placing sever restrictions on many advertising and promotional activities, the new regulations would result in the loss of at least 45,000 full and part time "direct jobs" and another 65,000 "derived jobs." For more information or a copy of the report, contact the Small Business Survival Committee at (202)785-0238.

"Putting People Back Into the Regulatory Equation"

All correspondence to The Relief Report should be directed to:

The National Center for Public Policy Research * 20 F Street, NW #700 * Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel. (202) 507-6398 * Fax (301) 498-1301 * E-mail [email protected]

©1995, The National Center for Public Policy Research. Coverage of meetings, activities or statements in The Relief Report does not imply endorsement by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Excerpts may be reprinted provided that original source is credited.

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