TITLE III--STANDARDS AND ENFORCEMENT

SEC. 324. BENEFIT AND COST CRITERION.

Title III (33 U.S.C. 1311-1330) is further amended by adding at the end the following:

"SEC. 324. BENEFIT AND COST CRITERION.

"(a) Decision Criterion.--

(1) Certification.--The Administrator or the Secretary of the Army (hereinafter in this section referred to as the 'Secretary'), as appropriate, shall not issue--

(A) any standard, effluent limitation, or other regulatory requirement under this Act; or

"(B) any guidance under this Act which, if issued as a regulatory requirement, would result in an annual increase in cost of $25,000,000 or more,unless the Administrator or the Secretary certifies that the requirement or guidance maximizes net benefits to society. Such certification shall be based on an analysis meeting the requirements of subsection nt face="Courier">"(A) Delineation by secretary of agriculture.--For purposes of this section, wetlands located on agricultural lands and associated nonagricultural lands shall be delineated solely by the Secretary of Agriculture in accordance with subtitle C of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3821 et seq.).

"(B) Exemption of lands exempted under food securittanding any other provision of this Act, no regulation or guidance subject to this subsection shall be issued by the Administrator or the Secretary unless the requirement of paragraph (1) is met and the certification is supported by substantial evidence.

(b) Benefit and Cost Analysis Guidance.--

"(1) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this section, and after providing notice and opportunity for public comment, the Administrator, in concurrence with the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, shall issue, and thereafter revise, as appropriate, guidance for conducting benefit and cost analyses in support of making certifications required by subsection (a).

(2) Contents.--Guidance issued under paragraph (1), at a minimum, shall--

(A) require the identification of available policy alternatives, including the alternative of not regulating and any alternatives proposed during periods for public comment;

(B) provide methods for estimating the incremental benefits and costs associated with plausible alternatives, including the use of quantitative and qualitative measures;

(C) require an estimate of the nature and extent of the incremental risk avoided by thestandard, effluent limitation, or other regulatory requirement, including a statement that places in context the nature and magnitude of the estimated risk reduction; and

(D) require an estimate of the total social, environmental, and economic costs of implementing the standard, effluent limitation, or other regulatory requirement.

(c) Exemptions.--The following shall not be subject to the requirements of this section:

(1) The issuance of a permit.

(2) The implementation of any purely procedural requirement.

(3) Water quality criteria established under section 304.

(4) Water quality based standards established under section 303.

(d) Discretionary Exemptions.--The Administrator or the Secretary, as appropriate, may exempt from this section any regulatory requirement that is likely to result in an annual increase in costs of less than $25,000,000. Such exemptions may be made for specific regulatory requirements or classes of regulatory requirements.

(e) General Rule on Applicability.--The requirements of this section shall apply to any regulatory requirement described in subsection (a)(1)(A) or guidance described in subsection (a)(1)(B) that is issued after the last day of the 1-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this section."

 

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