On January 24, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in a Notice that it is delaying the implementation of thirty regulations, including the recent Risk Management Plan (RMP) rulemaking, the Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2017, and EPA's approval of the Texas State Implementation Plan (SIP) provisions for controlling visible emissions and particulate matter.
The Notice, which is slated for publication on January 26, 2017, covers the thirty EPA regulations that have been published in the Federal Register but have not yet taken effect. The Notice temporarily postpones the effective date of the regulations to March 21, 2017. EPA explains in the Notice that the delay 'is necessary to give Agency officials the opportunity for further review and consideration of new regulations, consistent with the memorandum of the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, dated January 20, 2017.' The Notice does not provide an opportunity for public comment because 'seeking comment is impracticable, unnecessary and contrary to the public interest.'
In the case of the RMP rule, which amends accident prevention program requirements for RMP-covered facilities, the Notice has the effect of delaying its effective date by a week, from March 14, 2017 to March 21, 2017. The Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2017 and the approval of the Texas SIP provisions on visible emissions and particulate matter, both originally scheduled to become effective February 10, 2017, are now delayed until March 21, 2017.