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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 
                               following

                              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.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Amendment........................................................     2
Purpose and Summary..............................................     5
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     5
Hearings.........................................................     6
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

                               AMENDMENT

    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

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 
follows:

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 
        residential pools;
          (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 
State shall--
          (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 
shall use--
          (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; 
        and
          (2) the remainder--
                  (A) to educate pool construction and installation 
                companies and pool service companies about the 
                standards;
                  (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 
                        or spa;
                          (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 
                        statute have--
                                  (I) more than 1 drain per circulation 
                                pump;
                                  (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 
                comment period.
          (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 
                this Act.
          (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 
        main drain):
                  (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 
                opening.
                  (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 
        operators;
          (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 
subsection (a).

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 
        Mechanical Engineers.
          (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 
years.

                  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 
seriously injured.
    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.

                                HEARINGS

    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.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    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.

                            COMMITTEE VOTES

    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 
spa entrapments.

   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 
revenues.

                  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 
1974.

                  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 
Act.

                      ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                   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 
the rulemaking.
    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 
fiscal year.
    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 
7.
     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 
drains.
     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 
program.

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 
ASTM International.
    (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 
circulating pump.
    (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 
statute.