(PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.)
110th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1st Session 110-365
VIRGINIA GRAEME BAKER POOL AND SPA SAFETY ACT
October 9, 2007.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Dingell, from the Committee on Energy and Commerce, submitted the
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 1721]
The Committee on Energy and Commerce, to whom was referred
the bill (H.R. 1721) to increase the safety of swimming pools
and spas by requiring the use of proper anti-entrapment drain
covers and pool and spa drainage systems, by establishing a
swimming pool safety grant program administered by the Consumer
Product Safety Commission to encourage States to improve their
pool and spa safety laws and to educate the public about pool
and spa safety, and for other purposes, having considered the
same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend
that the bill as amended do pass.
Purpose and Summary.............................................. 5
Background and Need for Legislation.............................. 5
Committee Consideration.......................................... 7
Committee Votes.................................................. 7
Committee Oversight Findings..................................... 7
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............ 7
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures 7
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits............................. 7
Committee Cost Estimate.......................................... 7
Congressional Budget Office Estimate............................. 7
Federal Mandates Statement....................................... 8
Advisory Committee Statement..................................... 8
Constitutional Authority Statement............................... 8
Applicability to Legislative Branch.............................. 8
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation................... 8
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............ 12
The amendment is as follows:
Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.
(a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Virginia Graeme
Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act''.
(b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as
Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Findings.
Sec. 3. Federal swimming pool and spa drain cover standard.
Sec. 4. State swimming pool safety grant program.
Sec. 5. Minimum State law requirements.
Sec. 6. Education program.
Sec. 7. Definitions.
Sec. 8. CPSC report.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
The Congress finds that--
(1) of injury-related deaths, drowning is the second leading
cause of death in children aged 1 to 14 in the United States;
(2) there are approximately 260 drowning deaths of children
younger than age 5 each year in swimming pools, and an
estimated 2,725 children are treated annually in hospital
emergency rooms for pool submersion injuries, mostly in
(3) many children die due to pool and spa drowning and
entrapment, such as Virginia Graeme Baker, who at age 7 drowned
by entrapment in a residential spa, and Preston de Ibern, who
at age 5 nearly drowned and was left permanently brain damaged,
finally succumbing to his catastrophic healthcare issues when
he was 12 years old;
(4) adult supervision at all aquatic venues is a critical
safety factor in preventing children from drowning; and
(5) research studies show that the installation and proper
use of barriers or fencing, as well as additional layers of
protection, could substantially reduce the number of childhood
residential swimming pool drownings and near drownings.
SEC. 3. FEDERAL SWIMMING POOL AND SPA DRAIN COVER STANDARD.
(a) Consumer Product Safety Rule.--The provisions of subsection (b)
shall be considered to be a consumer product safety rule issued by the
Consumer Product Safety Commission under section 9 of the Consumer
Product Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 2058).
(b) Drain Cover Standard.--Effective 1 year after the date of
enactment of this Act, each swimming pool or spa drain cover
manufactured, distributed, or entered into commerce in the United
States shall conform to the entrapment protection standards of the
ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 performance standard.
(c) Revision of Rule.--If, after the enactment of this Act, ANSI
proposes to revise the entrapment protection requirements of ASME/ANSI
A112.19.8, ANSI shall notify the Consumer Product Safety Commission of
the proposed revision and the proposed revision shall be incorporated
in the consumer product safety rule under subsection (a) unless, within
60 days of such notice, the Commission notifies ANSI that the
Commission has determined that such revision does not carry out the
purposes of subsection (b).
(d) Implementing Regulations.--Section 553 of title 5, United States
Code, shall apply with respect to the issuance of any regulations by
the Consumer Product Safety Commission to implement the requirements of
this section, and sections 7 and 9 of the Consumer Product Safety Act
shall not apply to such issuance.
SEC. 4. STATE SWIMMING POOL SAFETY GRANT PROGRAM.
(a) In General.--Subject to the availability of appropriations
authorized by subsection (e), the Commission shall establish a grant
program to provide assistance to eligible States.
(b) Eligibility.--To be eligible for a grant under the program, a
(1) demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission that it
has a State statute, or that, after the date of enactment of
this Act, it has enacted a statute, or amended an existing
statute, that provides for the enforcement of a law that--
(A) except as provided in section 5(a)(1)(A)(i),
applies to all swimming pools in the State; and
(B) meets the minimum State law requirements of
section 5; and
(2) submit an application to the Commission at such time, in
such form, and containing such additional information as the
Commission may require.
(c) Amount of Grant.--The Commission shall determine the amount of a
grant awarded under this Act, and shall consider--
(1) the population and relative enforcement needs of each
qualifying State; and
(2) allocation of grant funds in a manner designed to provide
the maximum benefit from the program in terms of protecting
children from drowning or entrapment, and, in making that
allocation, shall give priority to States that have not
received a grant under this Act in a preceding fiscal year.
(d) Use of Grant Funds.--A State receiving a grant under this section
(1) at least 50 percent of amount made available to hire and
train enforcement personnel for implementation and enforcement
of standards under the State swimming pool and spa safety law;
(2) the remainder--
(A) to educate pool construction and installation
companies and pool service companies about the
(B) to educate pool owners, pool operators, and other
members of the public about the standards under the
swimming pool and spa safety law and about the
prevention of drowning or entrapment of children using
swimming pools and spas; and
(C) to defray administrative costs associated with
such training and education programs.
(e) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be
appropriated to the Commission for each of fiscal years 2009 through
2013 $5,000,000 to carry out this section, such sums to remain
available until expended.
SEC. 5. MINIMUM STATE LAW REQUIREMENTS.
(a) In General.--
(1) Safety standards.--A State meets the minimum State law
requirements of this section if--
(A) the State requires by statute--
(i) the enclosure of all outdoor residential
pools and spas by barriers to entry that will
effectively prevent small children from gaining
unsupervised and unfettered access to the pool
(ii) that all pools and spas be equipped with
devices and systems designed to prevent
entrapment by pool or spa drains;
(iii) that pools and spas built more than 1
year after the date of enactment of such
(I) more than 1 drain per circulation
(II) 1 or more unblockable drains per
circulation pump; or
(III) no main drain; and
(iv) every swimming pool and spa that has a
main drain, other than an unblockable drain, be
equipped with a drain cover that meets the
consumer product safety standard established by
section 3; and
(B) the State meets such additional State law
requirements for pools and spas as the Commission may
establish after public notice and a 30-day public
(2) Use of minimum state law requirements.--The Commission--
(A) shall use the minimum State law requirements
under paragraph (1) solely for the purpose of
determining the eligibility of a State for a grant
under section 4 of this Act; and
(B) may not enforce any requirement under paragraph
(1) except for the purpose of determining the
eligibility of a State for a grant under section 4 of
(3) Requirements to reflect national performance standards
and commission guidelines.--In establishing minimum State law
requirements under paragraph (1), the Commission shall--
(A) consider current or revised national performance
standards on pool and spa barrier protection and
entrapment prevention; and
(B) ensure that any such requirements are consistent
with the guidelines contained in the Commission's
publication 362, entitled ``Safety Barrier Guidelines
for Home Pools'', the Commission's publication entitled
``Guidelines for Entrapment Hazards: Making Pools and
Spas Safer'', and any other pool safety guidelines
established by the Commission.
(b) Standards.--Nothing in this section prevents the Commission from
promulgating standards regulating pool and spa safety or from relying
on an applicable national performance standard.
(c) Basic Access-Related Safety Devices and Equipment Requirements to
Be Considered.--In establishing minimum State law requirements for
swimming pools and spas under subsection (a)(1), the Commission shall
consider the following requirements:
(1) Covers.--A safety pool cover.
(2) Gates.--A gate with direct access to the swimming pool
that is equipped with a self-closing, self-latching device.
(3) Doors.--Any door with direct access to the swimming pool
that is equipped with an audible alert device or alarm which
sounds when the door is opened.
(4) Pool alarm.--A device designed to provide rapid detection
of an entry into the water of a swimming pool or spa.
(d) Entrapment, Entanglement, and Evisceration Prevention Standards
to Be Required.--
(1) In general.--In establishing additional minimum State law
requirements for swimming pools and spas under subsection
(a)(1), the Commission shall require, at a minimum, 1 or more
of the following (except for pools constructed without a single
(A) Safety vacuum release system.--A safety vacuum
release system which ceases operation of the pump,
reverses the circulation flow, or otherwise provides a
vacuum release at a suction outlet when a blockage is
detected, that has been tested by an independent third
party and found to conform to ASME/ANSI standard
A112.19.17 or ASTM standard F2387.
(B) Suction-limiting vent system.--A suction-limiting
vent system with a tamper-resistant atmospheric
(C) Gravity drainage system.--A gravity drainage
system that utilizes a collector tank.
(D) Automatic pump shut-off system.--An automatic
pump shut-off system.
(E) Other systems.--Any other system determined by
the Commission to be equally effective as, or better
than, the systems described in subparagraphs (A)
through (E) of this paragraph at preventing or
eliminating the risk of injury or death associated with
pool drainage systems.
(2) Applicable standards.--Any device or system described in
subparagraphs (B) through (E) of paragraph (1) shall meet the
requirements of any ASME/ANSI or ASTM performance standard if
there is such a standard for such a device or system, or any
applicable consumer product safety standard.
SEC. 6. EDUCATION PROGRAM.
(a) In General.--The Commission shall establish and carry out an
education program to inform the public of methods to prevent drowning
and entrapment in swimming pools, spas, and ornamental pools. In
carrying out the program, the Commission shall develop--
(1) educational materials designed for pool manufacturers,
pool service companies, and pool supply retail outlets;
(2) educational materials designed for pool owners and
(3) educational materials designed for ornamental pool owners
and operators, including municipalities; and
(4) a national media campaign to promote awareness of pool
and spa safety.
(b) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be
appropriated to the Commission for each of fiscal years 2008 through
2012 $5,000,000 to carry out the education program authorized by
SEC. 7. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:
(1) ASME/ANSI standard.--The term ``ASME/ANSI standard''
means a safety standard accredited by the American National
Standards Institute and published by the American Society of
(2) ASTM standard.--The term ``ASTM standard'' means a safety
standard issued by ASTM International, formerly known as the
American Society for Testing and Materials.
(3) Barrier.--The term ``barrier'', with respect to a
swimming pool, means a fence, dwelling wall, or nondwelling
wall, or any combination thereof, which completely surrounds
the swimming pool and obstructs access to the swimming pool,
especially access from the residence or from the yard outside
the barrier. In the case where a wall of a dwelling that
contains a door or window serves as part of the barrier, all
doors and windows providing direct access from the home to the
pool must be equipped with an exit alarm that has a minimum
sound pressure rating of 85 dB A at 10 feet. Alarms should meet
the requirements of UL 2017 General-Purpose Signaling Devices
and Systems, section 77. All doors providing direct access from
the home to the pool must be equipped with a self-closing,
self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower
than 54 inches above the floor. The term ``barrier'' means,
with respect to a portable hot tub, a lockable cover.
(4) Commission.--The term ``Commission'' means the Consumer
Product Safety Commission.
(5) Main drain.--The term ``main drain'' means a submerged
suction outlet typically located at the bottom of a pool or spa
to conduct water to a re-circulating pump.
(6) Ornamental pool.--The term ``ornamental pool'' means a
man-made structure designed to contain water such as a
decorative fountain or reflecting pool in the ground, partially
in the ground, or in a building, intended primarily for
aesthetic value and not intended for swimming or wading.
(7) Safety vacuum release system.--The term ``safety vacuum
release system'' means a vacuum release system capable of
providing vacuum release at a suction outlet caused by a high
vacuum occurrence due to a suction outlet flow blockage.
(8) Unblockable drain.--The term ``unblockable drain'' means
a drain of any size and shape that a human body cannot
sufficiently block to create a suction entrapment hazard.
(9) Swimming pool; spa.--The term ``swimming pool'' or
``spa'' means any outdoor or indoor structure intended for
swimming or recreational bathing, including in-ground and
above-ground structures, and includes hot tubs, spas, portable
spas, and non-portable wading pools.
SEC. 8. CPSC REPORT.
Within 1 year after the close of each fiscal year for which grants
are made under section 4, the Commission shall submit a report to the
Congress evaluating the effectiveness of the grant program authorized
by that section.
PURPOSE AND SUMMARY
The purpose of H.R. 1721, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool
and Spa Safety Act, is to increase the safety of swimming pools
and spas by requiring the use of proper anti-entrapment drain
covers and pool and spa drainage systems. H.R. 1721 also
establishes a swimming pool safety grant program, authorized at
$5 million annually for five years, administered by the
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to encourage States
to pass comprehensive swimming pool and spa safety laws that
require layers of protection against childhood drowning,
including specified barriers, anti-entrapment drains, and
safety vacuum releases. Further, H.R. 1721 requires CPSC to
develop a national education program to prevent drowning and
entrapment in swimming pools, spas, and ornamental pools, also
authorized at $5 million annually for five years. Finally, H.R.
1721 would require the CPSC to report to Congress on the
effectiveness of the grant program for all applicable fiscal
BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION
Drowning is the second highest cause of accidental deaths
among American children 1 to 14 years of age, ranking right
behind automobile accidents. In 2003, drowning incidents caused
761 childhood deaths; in 2004, over 3,000 children were treated
in emergency rooms for near-drowning, often resulting in
permanent injury, especially debilitating brain injuries.
Approximately 40 percent of childhood deaths from drowning take
place in pools or spas. Most childhood swimming pool drownings
and other pool-related accidents result from lapses in adult
supervision and from access to unguarded or unlocked pools.
Swimming pools and spas can present a danger beyond the
inherent risk in any body of water--the risk of drain
entrapment. Some drains have sufficiently powerful suction that
they entrap hair or body parts of children, holding them
underwater. A child can be killed or seriously injured when the
force of the suction is so powerful that the child cannot get
free, sometimes even with the help of supervising adults. Such
was the tragic case of seven-year-old Virginia Graeme Baker,
Nancy Baker's daughter and the granddaughter of former
Secretary of State James A. Baker III, who drowned after she
became entrapped by the powerful suction on the drain of a spa.
The force of the suction was powerful enough to require the
strength of two adults to free Graeme from the pull of the
drain. Drain entrapment deaths can be especially horrible--
limbs can get stuck in the powerful suction of the drains; long
hair can get tangled and wrapped around grate covers, trapping
people's heads; and buttocks can get entrapped when children
sit on drains, causing disembowelment. At least 33 children
under the age of 14 died as a result of drain entrapment in the
20-year period between 1985 and 2004. Another 100 were
The purpose of this legislation is to decrease the
incidence of childhood drowning through three initiatives. The
first initiative is to require the use of safe, anti-entrapment
drain covers--safe covers generally are not flush to the
surface of the pool and are designed to prevent the circular or
swirling action of the water that tends to cause the suction
and vacuum. The second initiative is to establish a Federal
program, through incentive grants administered by the CPSC, to
encourage the States to enact laws that require layers of
protection in residential swimming pools to reduce the
incidence of childhood drowning. This initiative would
establish a grant program within the CPSC, a function that does
not currently exist at the agency. Concerns were raised during
Committee hearings regarding the expertise and resources of the
Commission to effectively manage such a grant program. The
Committee expects the CPSC to establish within the agency the
appropriate process to administer the grant program by Fiscal
Year 2009. The third initiative is to establish a national
public education program.
The Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer
Protection held a hearing on Tuesday, May 15, 2007, entitled
``Protecting Our Children: Current Issues in Consumer Product
Safety,'' which examined the performance of the CPSC in
safeguarding children from hazardous products. Testimony was
received from the Honorable Nancy A. Nord, CPSC Acting
Chairman; Mr. Alan Korn, Public Policy Director and General
Counsel, Safe Kids Worldwide; Ms. Rachel Weintraub, Director of
Product Safety and Senior Counsel, Consumer Federation of
America; Mr. Frederick Locker, General Counsel, Toy Industry
Association; Ms. Marla Felcher, Adjunct Lecturer, Kennedy
School of Government, Harvard University; Mr. James A. Thomas,
President, ASTM International; and Ms. Nancy A. Cowles,
Executive Director, Kids in Danger.
The Subcommittee also held a legislative hearing on
Wednesday, June 6, 2007, entitled ``Legislation to Improve
Consumer Product Safety for Children: H.R. 2474, H.R. 1699,
H.R. 814, and H.R. 1721.'' Testimony was received from Mr.
Edmund Mierzwinski, Consumer Program Director, United States
Public Interest Research Group, and Ms. Sally Greenberg, Senior
Product Safety Counsel, Consumers Union.
On Tuesday, July 31, 2007, the Subcommittee on Commerce,
Trade, and Consumer Protection met in open markup session and
favorably forwarded H.R. 1721, amended, to the full Committee
for consideration, by a voice vote. On Tuesday, September 25,
2007, the full Committee met in open markup session and ordered
H.R. 1721 favorably reported to the House, as amended, by a
voice vote, a quorum being present. No amendments were offered
during full Committee consideration.
Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes
on the motion to report legislation and amendments thereto.
There were no record votes taken during consideration of H.R.
1721 or in ordering the bill reported. A motion by Mr. Dingell
to order H.R. 1721 favorably reported to the House, as amended,
was agreed to by a voice vote.
COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS
Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the
House of Representatives, the oversight findings of the
Committee are reflected in this report.
STATEMENT OF GENERAL PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The purpose of the legislation is to reduce the harm to
individuals, particularly children, that results from pool and
NEW BUDGET AUTHORITY, ENTITLEMENT AUTHORITY, AND TAX EXPENDITURES
Regarding compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of
the Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds
that H.R. 1721 would result in no new or increased budget
authority, entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or
EARMARKS AND TAX AND TARIFF BENEFITS
Regarding compliance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules
of the House of Representatives, H.R. 1721 does not contain any
Congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff
benefits as defined in clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of rule XXI.
COMMITTEE COST ESTIMATE
The Committee will adopt as its own the cost estimate
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office
pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of
CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ESTIMATE
Regarding clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the
House of Representatives, a cost estimate on H.R. 1721 by the
Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 was not available as of the
time of the filing of this report by the Committee.
FEDERAL MANDATES STATEMENT
The Committee will adopt as its own the estimate of Federal
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform
ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT
No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b)
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this
CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT
Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that the
Constitutional authority for this legislation is provided in
Article I, section 8, clause 3, which grants Congress the power
to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the several
States, and with the Indian tribes, and in the provisions of
Article I, section 8, clause 1, that relate to expending funds
to provide for the general welfare of the United States.
APPLICABILITY TO LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public
services or accommodations within the meaning of section
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.
SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF THE LEGISLATION
Section 1. Short title; table of contents
Section 1(a) establishes the short title of the bill as the
``Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act'' and (b)
provides a table of contents.
Section 2. Findings
Section 2 sets forth findings and statistics related to
childhood drowning and drain entrapment.
Section 3. Federal swimming pool and spa drain cover standard
Section 3 mandates that one year after enactment of this
legislation, all drain covers sold or distributed in commerce
in the United States shall conform to the anti-entrapment
standard specified as the ``ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 performance
standard,'' which has been set by a private standard setting
body, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The
mandated standard under this bill shall be considered to be a
consumer product safety rule issued by the Consumer Product
Safety Commission pursuant to Section 9 of the Consumer Product
Safety Act (CPSA) (15 U.S.C. 2058).
In the event that ANSI proposes in the future to modify the
drain cover standard, ANSI is required to notify the CPSC. The
CPSC then has 60 days to consider the proposed change. If the
CPSC does not affirmatively notify ANSI that the proposed
change does not meet requirements for protecting the public
safety, the revised standard will replace the standard set
forth in this legislation and be considered a consumer product
safety rule under section 9.
In the event that the CPSC believes that there is a need to
promulgate implementing regulations to carry out the purposes
of this legislation, it may do so pursuant to the requirements
of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 553. It need not
follow the procedures set forth in sections 7 and 9 of the
CPSC. Thus, any implementing regulations would take place in a
two-part proceeding instead of the three-part proceeding
required under sections 7 and 9. The bill does not anticipate,
however, that implementing regulations should be necessary. The
new standard thus may take effect one year after enactment
without any further action by the CPSC.
Specifically, the section eliminates Section 9(a)-(f) of
the CPSA. The effect of this provision would eliminate the
current procedural requirement of issuing an advance notice of
proposed rulemaking (``ANPR'') and notice of proposed
rulemaking (``NPR'') and potentially permit the CPSC to adopt a
final rule without the Administrative Procedures Act
requirement of providing the public with prior notice and an
opportunity to submit comments on the proposed rule. This bill
would also eliminate the required findings that the Commission
currently must make in the ANPR and NPR rulemaking stages. The
bill would also eliminate findings required in the Final Rule
stage, such as a final cost-benefit regulatory analysis, a
description of any alternatives to the final rule considered by
the Commission, a summary of any significant issues raised by
comments submitted during the public comment period, a
determination that the rule is reasonably necessary to
eliminate or reduce an unreasonable risk of injury associated
with the product, and a determination that the rule imposes the
least burdensome requirement which prevents or adequately
reduces the risk of injury for which the rule is being
promulgated. Also eliminated is the requirement of the
Commission to rely upon a voluntary standard when that
voluntary standard adequately addresses the risk of injury and
there is likely to be substantial compliance with it. Other
statutory requirements, however, such as those of the
Regulatory Flexibility Act, Congressional Review Act, and
National Environmental Policy Act, would continue to apply to
While the Committee has serious concerns about removing the
important requirements of Sections 7 and 9 of the CPSA, this
drain performance standard has been recognized as extremely
effective. In the interest of protecting children from possible
entrapment drownings, the Committee believes that the removal
of these requirements is acceptable in this particular case.
Even given the fact that the pool and spa industry is
overwhelmingly complying with the ANSI standard voluntarily, it
is important to demand that the industry remove all unsafe
drains from the stream of commerce.
Section 4. State swimming pool safety grant program
Section 4 establishes a grant program, to be administered
by the CPSC, to encourage and assist the States to enact
legislation that helps prevent childhood drowning by meeting
the minimum standards set forth in section 5. The bill
authorizes an annual appropriation to the CPSC of $5 million
for Fiscal Years 2009 to 2013 to fund the grant program. To be
eligible for a grant, the State must demonstrate to the CPSC
that it has a statute--whether existing, new, or newly
amended--that meets the standards in section 5, and that the
standard applies to all swimming pools in the State, indoor or
outdoor. Subsection (b)(1)(a), however, indicates that indoor
pools are excepted from the barrier requirement.
The CPSC may determine the amount of the grant awarded to
States that apply and that meet the eligibility requirements by
considering the individual State's population and enforcement
needs. The CPSC also may exercise its judgment in awarding
grants according to what will best serve the overall purpose of
preventing childhood drowning. Priority, however, should be
given to States that have not received a grant in the previous
States that receive grants are required to apply at least
50 percent of the funds to hire and train personnel to
implement and enforce State law standards consistent with
section 5. The remainder of the funds may be used to educate
the pool industry, pool owners, and members of the public.
Section 5. Minimum State law requirements
Section 5(a) sets forth the minimum requirements that State
law must meet to qualify for a grant. In establishing the grant
eligibility requirement, the CPSC must ensure consistency with
applicable national performance standards. The bill makes clear
that the CPSC may use these requirements only for the purpose
of determining eligibility for grants; the CPSC has no
enforcement authority with respect to these requirements. Such
minimum State standards include requirements for--
Barriers that prevent small children from gaining
unsupervised access to pools. The requirement for a qualifying
barrier is detailed in the definition of ``barrier'' in section
Anti-entrapment drain systems.
Drain design systems that feature no main drain
and instead use multiple ``unblockable'' drains, as those terms
are defined in section 7, for pools built more than 1 year
after the date of enactment.
Anti-entrapment drain covers that meet the
standard set forth in section 3, for pools that have main
Additional requirements that the CPSC may
establish with notice and a 30-day comment period.
Section 5(b) provides that nothing in this bill is intended
to prevent the CPSC from promulgating pool and spa safety
standards or relying on an applicable national standard.
Section 5(c) provides that, in setting forth minimum State
law standards, the CPSC must consider various safety features
for covers, gates, doors, and pool alarms.
Section 5(d) sets forth further specific minimum standards
for grant eligibility for pools with single main drains to
prevent entrapment, entanglement, and evisceration. The CPSC
must require at least one of the following: safety vacuum
release system, suction-limiting vent system, gravity drainage
system, automatic pump shut-off system, or a system that is
equally effective in eliminating the dangers associated with
drainage systems. All such devices or systems must comply with
ASME/ANSI or ASTM performance standards.
It is important to note that none of the current State laws
regarding pool safety would qualify their States for grant
money. The Committee remains concerned that the States with
pool safety laws similar to the requirements of those specified
by the grant program may not change their laws to comply and
will therefore not be eligible to participate in the grant
Section 6. Education program
Section 6 requires the CPSC to conduct an educational
program to inform the public about ways to prevent drowning and
entrapment in swimming pools, spas, and ornamental pools and
fountains. The bill directs the CPSC to develop materials
directed at the pool industry (manufacturers, service companies
and retail outlets); pool owners and operators; and operators
of ornamental pools and fountains (including municipalities).
It also directs the CPSC to develop a national media campaign
to promote awareness of pool safety. The bill authorizes an
annual appropriation of $5 million for Fiscal Years 2009
through 2013 to conduct the education program.
Section 7. Definitions
Section 7 defines terms used in the bill, as follows:
(a) ``ASME/ANSI Standard'' refers to a safety standard
accredited by the American National Standards Institute and
published by American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
(b) ``ASTM STANDARD'' means a safety standard issued by
(c) ``Barrier,'' with respect to a swimming pool under this
bill, includes a fence or wall (or combination), which
completely surrounds the pool and obstructs access to the pool.
If the dwelling wall, or house wall, constitutes one part of
the barrier, any doors and windows that are part of that wall
and provide direct access to the pool must be equipped with
exit alarms (at the specified sound standard). Doors providing
direct access also must be equipped with self-closing, self-
latching devices at a height no lower than 54 inches above the
floor. Barrier, with respect to a spa or a portable hot tub,
means a lockable cover.
(d) ``Commission'' means the Consumer Product Safety
Commission or the CPSC.
(e) ``Main Drain'' means a submerged suction outlet
typically located at the bottom of a pool and connected to a
(f) ``Ornamental Pool'' is a decorative pool or fountain,
not intended for swimming, bathing, or wading.
(g) ``Safety Vacuum Release System'' means a system that
can shut off the suction caused by a vacuum.
(h) ``Unblockable Drain'' is a drain that cannot be
sufficiently blocked by a human body to cause a suction hazard.
(i) ``Swimming Pool and Spa'' means any indoor or outdoor
structure, in ground or above ground, intended for swimming or
recreation. They include hot tubs, spas, portable spas, and
non-portable wading pools.
Section 8. CPSC report
Section 8 requires the CPSC to submit annual reports to
Congress evaluating the effectiveness of the grant program in
Section 4. The reports are due one year after the close of each
fiscal year for which grants were eligible to be made and for
which funds were appropriated.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED
This legislation does not amend any existing Federal