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Calendar No. 1060
110th Congress Report
2d Session 110-489
BLACK CARBON RESEARCH BILL
September 24 (legislative day, September 17), 2008.--Ordered to be
Mrs. Boxer, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany S. 3489]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was
referred the bill (S. 3489) to require the Administrator of the
Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a study on black
carbon emissions, reports favorably thereon, and recommends
that the bill do pass.
PURPOSES OF THE LEGISLATION
S. 3489 would require the Administrator of the
Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a study of black
GENERAL STATEMENT AND BACKGROUND
Scientists have found that black carbon, a key component of
soot, likely plays a much larger role in global warming than
previously estimated. Because soot particles are generally
small, they also contribute significantly to air pollution
related illness and mortality.
Black carbon is produced from the incomplete combustion of
wood, biomass such as crop residues, forest fires, and fossil
fuels, particularly diesel. Black carbon absorbs solar
radiation, warming the atmosphere. Because black carbon's
atmospheric life span is short, only a matter of days or weeks,
reducing black carbon emissions likely will have an immediate
impact on global warming. Black carbon is of particular concern
in the Arctic region because it settles on ice and snow,
reducing its reflectivity and increasing the rate of melting.
According to some estimates, black carbon may be responsible
for up to 30 percent of the warming that is occurring in the
Arctic. While significant emissions of black carbon are emitted
from the developed world, the majority of emissions are from
the developing world.
Reducing black carbon emissions in the United States would
also have the benefit of reducing premature mortalities and
other public health impacts, and result in reductions in global
warming. Because of the potential benefits of reducing black
carbon emissions, it is imperative that the Administrator of
the Environmental Protection Agency conduct a study of the
sources and quantities of black carbon emission, climate and
health related impacts, potential control technologies, areas
for additional research, and actions that the Federal
Government should take to reduce black carbon emissions.
Section 1. Study by administrator of black carbon emissions
Subsection (a) requires the Administrator of the
Environmental Protection Agency, working with representatives
of industry and environmental groups, to study carbon black
emissions, including: (1) an identification of the major United
States and worldwide sources, an estimate of the quantity of
current and projected future emissions and the net climate
effect of those emissions; the most recent scientific
information on black carbon emissions; the most effective and
cost-effective control technologies, operations, and
strategies; a determination of a carbon dioxide equivalency
factor or other metrics to compare black carbon to other
greenhouse gases; and the health benefits of additional black
carbon reductions; and (2) recommendations regarding additional
research; actions that the Federal Government could take to
encourage or require reductions in black carbon emissions; and
the development of a climate-beneficial tropospheric ozone
Subsection (b) requires the Administrator to submit the
report to Congress no later than 180 days from enactment of
Subsection (c)--Authorization of appropriations
Subsection (c) authorizes the appropriation of such sums as
are necessary to carry out this Act.
S. 3489 was introduced by Senators Clinton and Carper. The
bill was read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on
Environment and Public Works. The Committee met on September
17, 2008, when S. 3489 was ordered favorably without amendment
reported by voice vote.
The Committee did not hold hearings on S. 3489 during the
There were no rollcall votes. The Committee on Environment
and Public Works met to consider S. 3489 on September 17, 2008.
A quorum of the Committee being present, S. 3489 was reported
favorably without amendment by a voice vote.
REGULATORY IMPACT STATEMENT
In compliance with section 11(b)(2) of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that there
are not expected to be significant costs to private entities
under this legislation.
In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
(Public Law 104-4), the Committee finds that S. 3489 would
impose no Federal intergovernmental unfunded mandates on State,
local or tribal governments.
CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE
In compliance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget
September 23, 2008.
Hon. Barbara Boxer,
Chairman, Committee on Environment and Public Works,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
Dear Madam Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 3489, a bill to
require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection
Agency to conduct a study on black carbon emissions.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Susanne S.
Peter R. Orszag.
S. 3489--A bill to require the Administrator of the Environmental
Protection Agency to conduct a study on black carbon emissions
S. 3489 would require the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) to conduct a study that identifies the major sources of
black carbon emissions in the United States, their
contributions to global warming, and the most effective
technologies for removing or reducing such emissions. EPA would
be required to submit the results of the study to the Congress
not later than 180 days from the bill's enactment. Based on
information from EPA, CBO estimates that implementing this
legislation would cost about $2 million over the 2009-2010
period, assuming availability of appropriated funds. Enacting
the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues.
S. 3489 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Susanne S.
Mehlman. This estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
Section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate
requires the committee to publish changes in existing law made
by the bill as reported. Passage of this bill will make no
changes to existing law.