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116th Congress    }                                 {    Rept. 116-318
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session      }                                 {           Part 1

======================================================================



 
         SYNTHETIC OPIOID EXPOSURE PREVENTION AND TRAINING ACT

                                _______
                                

December 3, 2019.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, from the Committee on Homeland Security, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4739]

    The Committee on Homeland Security, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 4739) to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 
to protect U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers, agents, 
other personnel, and canines against potential synthetic opioid 
exposure, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that 
the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     3
C.B.O. Estimate, New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and 
  Tax Expenditures...............................................     3
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     3
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     4
Duplicative Federal Programs.....................................     4
Congressional Earmarks, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff 
  Benefits.......................................................
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     4
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     5
Committee Correspondence.........................................     7

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 4739, the ``Synthetic Opioid Exposure Prevention and 
Training Act,'' would amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 
to protect U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers, agents, 
other personnel, and canines against potential synthetic opioid 
exposure.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The opioid crisis has devastated communities, killed 
hundreds of thousands of Americans, and strained the resources 
of first responders, hospitals, and police forces. For the past 
several years, the crisis has been driven by illicit synthetic 
opioids, such as fentanyl--chemicals that are so potent that 
they can be fatal in miniscule doses. As the vast majority of 
these synthetic drugs originate abroad, the U.S. Customs and 
Border Protection (CBP) plays a vital role in preventing these 
substances from coming across our borders.
    On a standard day, CBP will screen more than 67,000 cargo 
containers and seize more than one ton of illicit drugs.\1\ The 
amount of seized synthetic opioids has skyrocketed in recent 
years, increasing by more than 400% since 2016.\2\ In the 
course of their work, CBP's frontline personnel are at 
significant risk of exposure to these dangerous chemicals--
through accidental inhalation or even direct skin contact--
resulting in accidental overdoses.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\U.S. Customs and Border Protection, CBP Strategy to Combat 
Opioids at 3 (2019), available at https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/
files/assets/documents/2019-Mar/CBP-Opioid-Strategy-508.pdf.
    \2\Id. at 7.
    \3\Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fentanyl: Preventing 
Occupational Exposure to Emergency Responders (2017), available at 
https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/fentanyl/risk.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In July 2019, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) 
Inspector General (IG) issued a Management Alert (OIG-19-53) 
that identified a number of serious issues with CBP's 
preparations for accidental contact with synthetics. The IG 
issued this urgent call to action after highlighting inadequate 
training procedures, limited preparation for accidental 
exposure, and frequent failure to ensure that the most common 
antidote, Naloxone, was readily available in areas where 
accidental exposure to synthetics could occur. H.R. 4739 was 
introduced to effectuate the Alert to protect CBP officers and 
agents so they can safely carry out their mission.
    H.R. 4739 requires CBP to put in place measures to ensure 
the safety of its personnel. It requires the establishment of 
specific protocols and procedures outlining the safe handling 
of substances which could contain synthetic opioids. The bill 
also requires the development of mandatory, recurring training 
to cover the dangers of exposure to synthetics and the proper 
use of protective equipment and Naloxone. Appropriate personal 
protective equipment must also be provided in order to minimize 
contact with potentially dangerous substances and the 
distribution of Naloxone to all high-risk areas is required. 
Also included is a provision that requires regular oversight of 
the trainings, protocols, and procedures established in the 
bill.

                                Hearings

    For the purposes of section 103(i) of H. Res 6. of the 
116th Congress, the following hearing was used to develop H.R. 
4739:
           On July 25, 2019, the Committee held a 
        hearing entitled ``Homeland Security Implications of 
        the Opioid Crisis.'' The Committee received testimony 
        from Sondra McCauley, Assistant Inspector General for 
        Audits, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of 
        Homeland Security; Bridget G. Brennan, Special 
        Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York; Bryce 
        Pardo, Associate Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation; 
        and James Edward Hinson, Jr., Deputy Chief, Greensboro 
        Police Department, Investigative Bureau Commander.

                        Committee Consideration

    The Committee met on October 23, 2019, with a quorum being 
present, to consider H.R. 4739 and ordered the measure to be 
reported to the House with a favorable recommendation, without 
amendment, by unanimous consent.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the recorded 
votes on the motion to report legislation and amendments 
thereto.
    No recorded votes were requested during consideration of 
H.R. 4739.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

Congressional Budget Office Estimate, New Budget Authority, Entitlement 
                    Authority, And Tax Expenditures

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause (3)(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has requested 
but not received a cost estimate for this bill from the 
Director of Congressional Budget Office.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    An estimate of Federal mandates prepared by the Director of 
the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 423 of the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act was not made available to the 
Committee in time for the filing of this report. The Chairman 
of the Committee shall cause such estimate to be printed in the 
Congressional Record upon its receipt by the Committee.

                      Duplicative Federal Programs

    Pursuant to clause 3(c) of rule XIII, the Committee finds 
that H.R. 4739 does not contain any provision that establishes 
or reauthorizes a program known to be duplicative of another 
Federal program.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the goal and objective of H.R. 4739 
is to protect CBP officers, agents, other personnel, and 
canines against potential synthetic opioid exposure. H.R. 4739 
would require the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection (CBP) to develop protocols and procedures for the 
safe handling of potential synthetic opioids and develop a 
training program on the handling of synthetic opioids and the 
appropriate use of antidotes for accidental opioid overdoses. 
The CBP Commissioner is, according to H.R. 4739, further 
directed to ensure the availability of protective equipment and 
opioid overdose antidotes. The Commissioner and the DHS 
Inspector General are also directed by H.R. 4739 to conduct 
monitoring and audits according to a described schedule.

                          Advisory on Earmarks

    In compliance with rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, this bill, as reported, contains no 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of the rule 
XXI.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    This section provides that this bill may be cited as the 
``Synthetic Opioid Exposure Prevention and Training Act.''

Sec. 2. Protection against potential synthetic opioid exposure within 
        U.S. customs and border protection

    This section amends Subtitle B of title IV of the Homeland 
Security Act of 2002 to direct the CBP Commissioner to issue a 
policy laying out protocols and procedures detailing the 
appropriate handling of synthetic opioids for all officers, 
agents, and other personnel. The goal of this subsection is to 
require CBP to formalize rules related to synthetic opioids and 
create a framework for safety that can help protect personnel 
and the public in the future. Currently, policies and 
procedures related to this issue have not been sufficiently 
updated to meet the threat, leading to inconsistent levels of 
fitness to manage the risk posed by synthetic opioids.
    This section directs the CBP Comissioner to develop a 
training regimen for all officers, agents, and personnel. The 
training is to be both mandatory and recurrent and is intended 
to include the risks associated with synthetic opioid exposure 
and the appropriate use of antidotes. Additionally, this 
section permits the integration of the new training into 
established procedures. The bill aims to create a formalized 
structure to improve existing policies. Additionally, by 
establishing strict training guidelines and procedures, the 
Committee believes that CBP will be better able to respond to 
changes in the threat environment in the future.
    The Commissioner is required to ensure that all CBP 
personnel who may encounter synthetic opioids have access to 
personal protective equipment and antidotes to opioid overdose. 
With this provision, the Committee hopes to ensure that CBP 
leadership takes all steps necessary to ensure that lifesaving 
antidotes and protection equipment that can prevent accidental 
contact are widely available. DHS IG investigations indicated 
the need for such a requirement after finding inadequate 
equipment and medication at locations where synthetic opioids 
are often encountered.
    Finally, the Commissioner is directed to monitor the 
effectiveness of the policies established in this bill and to 
adjust for efficacy as necessary. Additionally, the DHS 
Inspector General is to conduct an audit on an annual basis for 
five years following enactment.
    As discussed above, the Committee intends to reduce the 
likelihood of CBP personnel being harmed in the future 
regardless of changes to the threat environment. To this end, 
this section attempts to ensure a continuous evaluation and 
improvement process. The Committee was troubled to learn of the 
operational gaps within CBP that the DHS Inspector General 
identified in the July 2019 Management Alert and expects the 
Commissioner to prioritize implementation of the provisions of 
this Act to protect the frontline workforce.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

      In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made 
by the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                     HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Homeland 
Security Act of 2002''.
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is 
as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
     * * * * * * *

         TITLE IV--BORDER, MARITIME, AND TRANSPORTATION SECURITY

     * * * * * * *

             Subtitle B--U.S. Customs and Border Protection

     * * * * * * *
Sec. 411. Establishment of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; 
          Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, and operational offices.
     * * * * * * *
Sec. 416. Protection against potential synthetic opioid exposure.
     * * * * * * *



         TITLE IV--BORDER, MARITIME, AND TRANSPORTATION SECURITY



     * * * * * * *



             Subtitle B--U.S. Customs and Border Protection



     * * * * * * *

SEC. 416. PROTECTION AGAINST POTENTIAL SYNTHETIC OPIOID EXPOSURE.

  (a) In General.--The Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection shall issue a policy that specifies effective 
protocols and procedures for the safe handling of potential 
synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, by U.S. Customs and 
Border Protection officers, agents, other personnel, and 
canines, and to reduce the risk of injury or death resulting 
from accidental exposure and enhance post-exposure management.
  (b) Training.--
          (1) In general.--Together with the issuance of the 
        policy described in subsection (a), the Commissioner of 
        U.S. Customs and Border Protection shall require 
        mandatory and recurrent training on the following:
                  (A) The potential risk of opioid exposure and 
                safe handling procedures for potential 
                synthetic opioids, including precautionary 
                measures such as the use of personal protective 
                equipment during such handling.
                  (B) How to access and administer opioid 
                receptor antagonists, including naloxone, post-
                exposure to potential synthetic opioids.
          (2) Integration.--The training described in paragraph 
        (1) may be integrated into existing training under 
        section 411(l) for U.S. Customs and Border Protection 
        officers, agents, and other personnel.
  (c) Personal Protective Equipment and Opioid Receptor 
Antagonists.--Together with the issuance of the policy 
described in subsection (a), the Commissioner of U.S. Customs 
and Border Protection shall ensure the availability of personal 
protective equipment and opioid receptor antagonists, including 
naloxone, to all U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers, 
agents, other personnel, and canines at risk of accidental 
exposure to synthetic opioids.
  (d) Oversight.--To ensure effectiveness of the policy 
described in subsection (a)--
          (1) the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border 
        Protection shall regularly monitor the efficacy of the 
        implementation of such policy and adjust protocols and 
        procedures, as necessary; and
          (2) the Inspector General of the Department shall 
        audit compliance with the requirements of this section 
        not less than once each year for the five years after 
        the date of the enactment of this section.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

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