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EPA Seeks Input on Regulations to be Repealed, Replaced, or Modified

April 13, 2017

The Trump Administration issued its most recent major Executive Order ("EO") on regulatory reform on February 24, EO 13777 on Enforcing the Regulatory Agenda. That directive added structural and enforcement mechanisms to a key part of the President's ongoing deregulatory initiative, requiring each federal agency to designate a Regulatory Reform Officer and Task Force responsible for compiling lists of rules to be rescinded, and setting forth a set of criteria for agencies to use in this effort. (See Clark Hill's commentary on this program here.) 

On March 24, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt sent an internal memo to all staff, beginning the implementation process on EO 13777 by designating Samantha Dravis, Associate Administrator for Policy, to serve as the agency's Regulatory Reform Officer and naming other senior appointees to serve on the Task Force. That memorandum charged EPA program offices with providing the Task Force with "recommendations regarding specific rules that should be considered for repeal, replacement or modification" by May 15.

On April 13, EPA took the next step by soliciting comment from the public in a Federal Register notice titled Evaluation of Existing Regulations. Comments are due also by May 15. The request for comment seeks specific information to support recommendations for repeal, replacement, or modification, including cost data. 

Earlier this year, in response to a January 24 Presidential Memorandum (see New Administration Orders Federal Agency Action to Reduce Regulatory Burden on Manufacturing), the Commerce Department solicited comment on regulatory rescissions and modifications, as well as permit streamlining, that targeted regulatory burden on domestic manufacturing. That initiative resulted in 170 submissions, and it is likely there will be some overlap with responses to EPA's request for comment. The EPA regulatory reform program includes a broader set of criteria for candidate rules, however, including regulations that (i) eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation; (ii) are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective;  (iii) impose costs that exceed benefits; (iv) create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies; or (v) are inconsistent with requirements for information transparency and reproducibility. 

Clark Hill attorneys are experienced in working with clients to develop effective legal strategies and advocacy approaches to address regulatory and deregulatory initiatives. For more information, please contact Karen C. Bennett at | (202) 572-8676; Jane C. Luxton at | (202) 572-8674; Kenneth von Schaumburg at | (202) 772-0904; William J. Walsh at | (202) 772-0924; or another member of Clark Hill's Environment, Energy & Natural Resources practice group.

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