Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced legislation (S. 1729) October 18 to amend the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 to clarify that manure is not considered a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant under the Act.

The same day, New Jersey Representatives Bill Pascrell (D) and Frank LoBiondo (R) introduced the House companion (H.R. 3238) to Senators’ Tom Carper (D-DE) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) offshore wind investment tax credit (S. 1397). The legislation swaps a planned 2012 expiration deadline with a 30 percent investment credit for the first 3,000 MW of offshore wind power installed.

Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) introduced legislation (S. 1737) October 19 to account for energy costs in mortgage underwriting. The Sensible Accounting to Value Energy Act aims to boost home energy efficiency by directing federal mortgage loan agencies to consider a homeowner’s expected energy costs when determining the homeowner’s ability to make monthly mortgage payments.

North Dakota Senators Kent Conrad (D) and John Hoeven (R) introduced a companion October 21 to the recently passed House coal ash legislation. The Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act of 2011 would ban the Environmental Protection Agency from setting binding standards for the disposal of coal ash and other leftovers from coal-fired power plants, instead establishing a nonbinding set of guidelines that states could opt into.