On April 13, 2017, EPA published a Federal Register notice seeking public input on regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification. EPA issued the notice in response to President Trump’s February 24, 2017 Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda” (the “Executive Order”), which establishes a policy “to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens placed on the American people.”

The Executive Order directs each executive agency, including EPA, to establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force (“Task Force”), whose role is to make recommendations regarding regulations that are appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification to its respective agency head. More information about the makeup of EPA’s Task Force can be found in this March 24, 2017 memorandum from Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Before making its recommendations, each Task Force is directed to “attempt to identify” regulations that:

  • eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation;
  • are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective;
  • impose costs that exceed benefits;
  • create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies;
  • are inconsistent with the requirements of section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act . . . or the guidance issued pursuant to that provision, in particular those regulations that rely in whole or in part on data, information, or methods that are not publicly available or that are insufficiently transparent to meet the standard for reproducibility; or
  • derive from or implement Executive Orders or other Presidential directives that have been subsequently rescinded or substantially modified.

The Executive Order further directs each Task Force to “seek input and other assistance . . . from entities significantly affected by Federal regulations” to assist the agencies in identifying regulations that meet one or more of the above criteria. EPA’s notice is intended to satisfy its obligation under the Executive Order by soliciting public input on regulations that may meet the above criteria. EPA also will seek public input through various outreach sessions. Additional information about EPA’s public outreach sessions and regulatory reform efforts can be found at EPA’s regulatory reform webpage.

Written comments must be submitted to EPA no later than May 15, 2017. Comments are to be “as specific as possible” and should “include any supporting data or other information such as cost information.” Commenters are also encouraged to “provide specific suggestions” for EPA action regarding repeal, replacement, or modification of the identified regulations.

EPA efforts to comply with the Executive Order present the regulated community with an opportunity to inform EPA’s reform agenda by providing the Agency with both information and suggestions for appropriate regulatory action.