Introduced in House Passed House Introduced in Senate Passed Senate To President Became Law
12/06/2019          

Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act

Date Version PDF TXT
12/15/2019 Introduced in House Open
12/06/2019 Introduced in House Open

            


116th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 5341


To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act with respect to citizen suits and the specification of disposal sites, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

December 6, 2019

Mr. Rice of South Carolina (for himself, Mr. Amodei, Mr. Banks, Mr. Calvert, Mr. Duncan, Mr. Flores, Mr. Gianforte, Mr. Harris, Mrs. Hartzler, Mr. Hollingsworth, Mr. Kelly of Mississippi, Mr. Marchant, Mr. Meadows, Mr. Mooney of West Virginia, Mr. Norman, Mr. Olson, Mr. Palazzo, Mr. Perry, Mr. Rouzer, Mr. Austin Scott of Georgia, Mr. Stewart, Mrs. Walorski, Mr. Yoho, Mr. Young, Mr. King of Iowa, Mr. Budd, Mr. Thompson of Pennsylvania, Mr. Brooks of Alabama, Mr. Gibbs, Mr. Smith of Nebraska, and Mr. Weber of Texas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure


A BILL

To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act with respect to citizen suits and the specification of disposal sites, 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 “Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act”.

SEC. 2. Citizen suits.

(a) Costs of litigation.—Section 505(d) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1365(d)) is amended to read as follows:

“(d) The court, in issuing any final order in any action brought pursuant to this section, shall award costs of litigation (including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees) to the prevailing party. For purposes of this subsection, the prevailing party shall be considered to be the party, if any, that prevails on more than half of the claims at issue in the action. The court may, if a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction is sought, require the filing of a bond or equivalent security in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.”.

(b) Restriction on certain settlements.—Section 505(c) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1365(c)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(4) RESTRICTION ON CERTAIN ORDERS AND SETTLEMENTS.—A Federal court may not order, or approve a settlement requiring, in an action brought pursuant to this section, a governmental entity to carry out, or otherwise provide for, compensatory mitigation with respect to a permit applied for by, or issued to, the entity under section 404 in excess of the requirements for such mitigation under parts 320, 323, 325, and 332 of title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, and part 230 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations.”.

SEC. 3. Eliminating duplicative oversight.

(a) In general.—Section 404(c) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1344(c)) is repealed.

(b) Conforming amendments.—Section 404(b) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1344(b)) is amended—

(1) by striking “Subject to subsection (c) of this section, each such disposal site” and inserting “Each such disposal site”; and

(2) by striking “the Administrator, in conjunction with”.

SEC. 4. Prohibition on excess mitigation.

Section 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1344) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(u) No governmental entity may carry out, or otherwise provide for, compensatory mitigation, with respect to a permit issued to the entity under this section, in excess of the requirements for such mitigation under parts 320, 323, 325, and 332 of title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, and part 230 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations.”.


Picture Name From Date Type
Tom Rice R-SC 12/06/2019 Sponsor
Don Young R-AK 12/06/2019 Cosponsor
Ted Yoho R-FL 12/06/2019 Cosponsor
Randy Weber R-TX 12/06/2019 Cosponsor
Jackie Walorski R-IN 12/06/2019 Cosponsor
Glenn Thompson R-PA 12/06/2019 Cosponsor
Chris Stewart R-UT 12/06/2019 Cosponsor
Adrian Smith R-NE 12/06/2019 Cosponsor
Austin Scott R-GA 12/06/2019 Cosponsor
David Rouzer R-NC 12/06/2019 Cosponsor
Scott Perry R-PA 12/06/2019 Cosponsor
Steven Palazzo R-MS 12/06/2019 Cosponsor
1 to 12 of 31 Desc 12
Date Branch Action
12/09/2019 President Referred to the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.Action By: Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
12/06/2019 President Referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.Action By: House of Representatives
12/06/2019 President Introduced in HouseAction By: House of Representatives
Summary
There is one summary for H.R.5341. View summaries Shown Here:Introduced in House (12/06/2019) Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act This bill revises requirements concerning (1) citizen suits under the Clean Water Act, (2) permits for wetlands, and (3) wetland mitigation. Litigation costs (including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees) must be awarded to the prevailing party, thus the bill removes a court's discretion to award the fees. A prevailing party is defined as the party that prevails on more than half of the claims at issue. In addition, the bill repeals the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deny or restrict the use of any area as a disposal site for dredged or fill material when the discharge of those materials would have an unacceptable adverse effect on municipal water supplies, shellfish beds and fishery areas, wildlife, or recreational areas. Finally, the bill revises mitigation requirements. Current law requires compensatory mitigation to replace the loss of aquatic resource functions in a watershed when a permit to discharge dredged or fill materials into navigable waters has unavoidable impacts on aquatic resources. This bill prohibits government entities from carrying out compensatory mitigation in excess of existing regulatory requirements.
Shown Here:Introduced in House (12/06/2019) Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act This bill revises requirements concerning (1) citizen suits under the Clean Water Act, (2) permits for wetlands, and (3) wetland mitigation. Litigation costs (including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees) must be awarded to the prevailing party, thus the bill removes a court's discretion to award the fees. A prevailing party is defined as the party that prevails on more than half of the claims at issue. In addition, the bill repeals the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deny or restrict the use of any area as a disposal site for dredged or fill material when the discharge of those materials would have an unacceptable adverse effect on municipal water supplies, shellfish beds and fishery areas, wildlife, or recreational areas. Finally, the bill revises mitigation requirements. Current law requires compensatory mitigation to replace the loss of aquatic resource functions in a watershed when a permit to discharge dredged or fill materials into navigable waters has unavoidable impacts on aquatic resources. This bill prohibits government entities from carrying out compensatory mitigation in excess of existing regulatory requirements.
Congress - Bill Number Major Title
Branch Vote Date Yes No Not Voting
Wiki





Bill TEXT Points.
This Bill has been listed with the following Subjects from Texts:
Law
116 HR 5341 IH: Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act U


End Bill TEXT Points.
Date Bill Major Title
Committee Name
Subject Type