Wednesday, August 24, 2011

EPA Issues Final Plan to Review Regulations in an Effort to Remove Regulatory Burdens on Industry

The USEPA this week issued its final regulatory review plan in accordance with an Executive Order signed by President Obama earlier this year.  The goal of the review is to modify or eliminate regulations that are overly burdensome or costly.  EPA wants to develop a "21st century approach to environmental protection."

Under the plan, EPA will review a total of 35 separate regulations. About half (16) fit into the category of "early actions" and will be reviewed during 2011, with the rest scheduled for longer term actions in subsequent years.  For the early action list EPA "intends to propose or finalize an action to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal a regulation or related program."  The 16 regulatory topics to be reviewed in 2011 include:
  • Gasoline and diesel regulations
  • Equipment leak detection and repair
  • Regulatory certainty for farmers
  • Modern science and technology methods in chemical regulation
  • Electronic online reporting of health and safety data under TSCA, FIFRA, FFDCA
  • National Priorities List rules
  • Quick changes to some TSCA reporting requirements
  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
  • National primary drinking water regulations
  • Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) and integrated planning for wet weather infrastructure
  • Vehicle regulations, e.g., GHG and fuel economy standards and emissions standards
  • Multiple air pollutants, e.g., coordinating emission reduction regulations
  • NSPS reviews and revisions under the Clean Air Act
  • Clean Air Act Title V Permit program simplification
  • Innovative technology, i.e., seeking to encourage innovation
  • Costs of regulations, i.e., seeking to improve cost estimates
EPA notes that the actions it has taken just in the last few months have resulted in streamlined regulations and savings of up to $360 million per year.  Overall the EPA expects this regulatory review to result in $1.5 billion in savings over the next five years.  EPA further noted that it expects to conduct regulatory reviews on a "predictable, transparent, five-year cycle," including public requests for nominations of additional regulations for review.

The full EPA final regulatory review plan can be downloaded from the White House web site.

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