House Bill 26 — Compliance with federal underground storage tank regulations

Phil Haunschild 2019 House bill ratings

Bill description: HB 26 would give the owners of underground storage tanks additional time to comply with federal regulations governing those tanks.

Rating: +1

Does it violate the principles of federalism by increasing federal authority, yielding to federal blandishments, or incorporating changeable federal laws into Idaho statutes or rules? Examples include citing federal code without noting as it is written on a certain date, using state resources to enforce federal law, and refusing to support and uphold the Tenth Amendment. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the principles of federalism?

HB 26 comes as a response to federal regulations the state incorporated into its administrative rules in March 2017. Those regulations covered underground storage tanks used for petroleum, including gasoline. The section of federal code that was incorporated has more than 49,000 words. The state administrative rules allow for only a few exceptions.

HB 26 would specify three of the more onerous provisions in the section of incorporated federal code and ensure that their regulations would not go into effect until October 2021. By delaying the implementation of these regulations, HB 26 would give the owners of underground storage tanks more time to comply with the new provisions.


Analyst’s Note:

HB 26 is a case study in the danger of incorporating other laws, rules, and regulations into Idaho Code or Administrative Rules. What if a 14-page, 6,500-word rule book, turns into a 130-page, 55,000-word rule book that no one has taken the time to evaluate fully or understand how it will affect individuals in the state? When Idaho policymakers allow other entities—such as the federal government, private organizations, or international governments— to make the laws and rules in our state, Idahoans lose control of the legislative process and surrender their authority.