EPA Outlines Ideas for Cutting Red Tape
Chemical reporting, sanitary sewer overflow and lead paint are among the regulatory areas in which the Environmental Protection Agency plans to make changes this year, according to its regulatory review plan.
The Obama administration published regulatory reviews by 30 agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy, last week. The White House said that the reports, prepared to comply with the president’s January order on reducing red tape, identified billions of dollars in savings.
In the EPA’s report (pdf), the agency lays out 31 regulatory reviews as priority activities.
Sixteen of these items are categorized as “early actions”. The EPA says this means that “the Agency intends to take a specific step which could lead to modifying, streamlining, expanding, or repealing a regulation or related program during the 2011 calendar year.”
The other 15 reviews are longer-term actions, meaning that the agency intends to review those regulations and determine whether revisions are needed.
The 16 early actions are as follows (asterisks indicate those reviews that were suggested in public comments):
- ** Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program: considering new post-work requirements designed to ensure cleaning meets clearance standards
- ** Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) and peak flow wet weather discharges: clarifying permitting requirements
- Vehicle fuel vapor recovery systems: eliminating redundancy
- ** Gasoline and diesel regulations: reducing reporting and recordkeeping
- Regulatory certainty for farmers: working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and states
- ** Modern science and technology methods in the chemical regulation arena: reducing whole-animal testing, reducing costs and burdens, and improving efficiencies
- ** Electronic online reporting of health and safety data under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA); Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA); and Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA): reducing burden and improving efficiencies
- ** National Priorities List rules: improving transparency
- Quick changes to some TSCA reporting requirements: reducing burden
- Integrated pesticide registration reviews: reducing burden and improving efficiencies
- ** National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES): coordinating permit requirements and removing outdated requirements
- ** Vehicle regulations: harmonizing requirements for fuel economy labels, greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards, and vehicle emission standards
- Multiple air pollutants: coordinating emission reduction regulations and using innovative technologies
- ** New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) reviews and revisions: setting priorities to ensure updates to outdated technologies
- Innovative technology: seeking to spur new markets and utilize technological innovations
- ** The costs of regulations: improving cost estimates
The 15 longer-term actions are as follows (asterisks indicate those reviewed that were suggested in public comments):
- ** E-Manifest: reducing burden
- Electronic hazardous waste Site ID form: reducing burden
- ** Consumer confidence reports for primary drinking water regulations: providing for the open exchange of information
- ** Reporting requirements under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act (CWA): reducing burden
- ** Export notification for chemicals and pesticides: reducing burden and improving efficiencies
- ** Water quality trading: improving approaches
- ** Water Quality Standard regulations: simplifying and clarifying requirements
- ** State Implementation Plan (SIP) process: reducing burden
- ** CAA Title V Permit programs: simplifying and clarifying requirements
- ** National primary drinking water regulations for lead and copper: simplifying and clarifying requirements
- Adjusting threshold planning quantities (TPQs) for solids in solution: reducing burden and relying on scientific objectivity
- ** Certification of pesticide applicators: eliminating uncertainties and improving efficiencies
- Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) reforms: improving efficiencies and effectiveness
- Contaminants under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA): coordinating regulatory requirements
- **Section 610 reviews: coordinating requirements
Each of the reviews and intended actions is described in more detail in the review plan.
The EPA intends to consult further on the reviews this summer, and says that the 31 reviews may change as a result of the consultation.
The agency also stresses that while these 31 reviews are its priorities for responding to the principles of the executive order, it is undertaking many more reviews, with about 200 active actions expected to be listed in its Spring 2011 Semi-annual Regulatory Agenda. Of these, about 60 percent are reviews of existing regulations.
Picture credit: Julia Manzerova
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