Congressional Review of EPA's Mercury Rule

RS22207 -- Congressional Review of EPA's Mercury Rule

July 25, 2005


On June 29, 2005, Senator Patrick Leahy and 31 cosponsors introduced S.J.Res. 20; on the same day, a similar resolution (H.J.Res. 56) was introduced in the House by Representative Martin Meehan. If enacted into law, these resolutions would disapprove, under the Congressional Review Act, a rule promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency on March 29, 2005, in which EPA determined not to regulate hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired electric utility units under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act. Introduction of the Senate resolution set in motion procedures under which the Senate may vote on whether to overturn the rule if at least 30 Senators submit a petition to discharge the resolution from the committee to which it is referred. Thirty-two Senators did so on July 18. By that point, no action had yet occurred on the House measure.

This report discusses the EPA rule that is the subject of the disapproval resolution, describes the procedures under which the resolution can be considered, and provides additional references and background information that may be of interest in light of the potential debate. The report will be updated if congressional action warrants.