EPA asked the public which regulations to gut — and got an earful about leaving them alone

Read the full story from the Washington Post.

Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency put out a call for comments about what regulations are in need of repeal, replacement or modification. The effort stemmed from an executive order issued by President Trump earlier this year instructing agencies to reexamine regulations that “eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation” and/or “impose costs that exceed benefits.”

More than 55,100 responses rolled in by the time the comment period closed on Monday — but they were full of Americans sharing their experiences of growing up with dirty air and water, and with pleas for the agency not to undo safeguards that could return the country to more a more polluted era.

Upcoming RCRA Changes and How They’ll Affect Your Business

Read the full story from the Iowa Waste Reduction Center.

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the law that oversees the proper management of hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste, is seeing some major updates go into effect on May 30, 2017. A majority of the rules within RCRA are from amendments made in 1984 so this marks the first time in over 30 years that we’re seeing major changes that affect our clients.

Senators Reject Effort To Roll Back Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rule

Read the full story from NPR.

In a rare victory for environmentalists under President Trump, the Senate rejected efforts to roll back an Obama-era rule limiting methane emissions from energy production sites on federal land.

23 Environmental Rules Rolled Back in Trump’s First 100 Days

Read the full story in the New York Times.

President Trump, with help from his administration and Republicans in Congress, has reversed course on nearly two dozen environmental rules, regulations and other Obama-era policies during his first 100 days in office.

Citing federal overreach and burdensome regulations, Mr. Trump has prioritized domestic fossil fuel interests and undone measures aimed at protecting the environment and limiting global warming.

EPA’s Office of Water Seeking Feedback on Reducing Regulatory Burden

Received via e-mail. Please let the Office of Water know what you think about rolling back regulations that protect our water.

Consistent with Executive Order 13777, EPA is seeking public input on existing regulations that could be repealed, replaced or modified to make them less burdensome.

As a part of this effort, we will be accepting written public comments through May 15, 2017, at docket EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190. In addition, EPA’s Office of Water (OW) will host a public listening session to obtain additional feedback on water regulatory actions on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. EDT. Please visit: www.epa.gov/aboutepa/office-water-feedback-reducing-regulatory-burden or see below for details.

Background

On February 24, 2017, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order (EO) 13777 on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda. The EO establishes the, “policy of the United States to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens placed on the American people”. Among other things, it requires each agency to create a Regulatory Reform Task Force to evaluate existing regulations and to identify regulations that could be repealed, replaced or modified to make them less burdensome.
As part of implementing the EO, OW will be hosting a public listening session to solicit proposals for OW regulations that could be repealed, replaced, or modified to make them less burdensome. The focus of this listening session will be on water actions only.

Public Listening Session by Telephone and Web Conference
Date: Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. EDT

The session will start with brief remarks from EPA and the remainder of the session will be dedicated to listening to public comments. There are several ways to join the session:

  • To join the teleconference: 150 telephone lines are set aside for people who want to speak for one to two minutes. These 150 telephone lines will be distributed randomly among those who pre-register. We expect our three hour conference will allow for about 70 to 80 persons to speak. You must pre-register in advance to be randomly selected for one of these telephone lines at: https://reducing_regulatory_burden_epa_officeofwater.eventbrite.com. Registration closes April 28, 2017 @ 12:00 pm EDT. If selected, registrants from this list will receive information about how to participate, along with a call in number. The audio of the session will be transcribed and will be submitted to the docket.
  • To join the web conference: http://epawebconferencing.acms.com/owregulatoryforums/. You may sign in 15 minutes before the web conference starts. The online meeting room can accommodate 1,000 participants. Slots will be allotted on a first come first serve basis. Participants in the web session will be able to listen to a broadcast of speakers from the teleconference line through their computers, and will be able to submit written comments. Transcripts of all written comments will be submitted to the docket. For questions about this process, please contact: owregulatoryreform@epa.gov
  • If you miss the meeting, or do not have the opportunity to speak on the call, please submit your input to the EPA-wide docket (docket number: EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190). OW will give equal consideration to input provided through any of the methods above.
  • For more information on upcoming public engagement opportunities offered by other EPA offices please visit: https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/regulatory-reform.

Submitting Comments and/or Proposals to the Docket

The docket will be open for submitting recommendations until May 15, 2017. For those wishing to submit recommendations online, visit Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190 at Regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov.
To allow us to more effectively evaluate your suggestions, the Agency is requesting comments include:

  • Supporting data or other information such as cost information;
  • Provide a Federal Register (FR) or Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) citation when referencing a specific regulation;
  • Provide specific suggestions regarding repeal, replacement, or modification.

The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (e.g., audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all the points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (e.g., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system).

For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit the Commenting on EPA Dockets web page for more information.

Challenging Mercury Laws May Be Next On The President’s Environmental Agenda

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Now that the Trump administration has signaled it will try and rollback regulations tied carbon, methane and volatile organic compounds, it may soon turn its attention to mercury.

The US Environmental Protection Agency is examining a mercury rule first enacted by the Obama administration in 2012 that seeks to significantly curtail those insidious releases. Coal plants are the main culprit, which is a key reason why many have been forced to shut down. But President Trump ran on a platform of leveling the regulatory playing field to give the coal industry a better chance at long-term survival.

EPA Walks Back Methane Rule for Oil and Gas Industry

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Wednesday that it will reconsider a Barack Obama-era rule to curb emissions of methane, volatile organic compounds, and other toxic air pollutants from the oil and gas industry. The rule, which was finalized in June of 2016 and would have gone into effect in June of this year, was expected to prevent more than 500,000 tons of methane emissions by 2025—an amount equivalent to 11 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. But as soon as it was passed, the rule faced immediate legal challenges from oil and gas companies and several state attorneys general.