The internal memorandum from Administrator Pruitt to his senior staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) was recently released to the press. The memo provides the road map for implementing Executive Order 13777, which directs agencies to take steps to repeal, replace, or modify unduly burdensome regulations. To identify the regulations EPA will prioritize in the coming months and years, Administrator Pruitt created a Regulatory Review Task Force consisting of four top EPA appointees. The Task Force is directed to develop the recommendations by seeking out input from regulated entities and the trade associations representing the regulated community. The memo further directs the Task Force to conduct “some general outreach” and to host public stakeholder meetings and to screen and compile the responses by May 15, 2017.
Subsequent to Administrator Pruitt’s memorandum, EPA announced on its website that the Agency would convene a “Stakeholder Meeting” in Washington, D.C. on April 25, 2017, during which regulated entities and their representatives could testify on environmental regulatory burdens and EPA rules that should be repealed, replaced, or modified. Interested stakeholders should confirm their attendance with EPA by April 17, 2017.
In addition to, or in lieu of, testifying at the April 25th Stakeholder Meeting, regulated entities can also submit written comments on the regulatory burdens facing their industry/company and make recommendations for modification or repeal. EPA opened a docket on regulations.gov and will accept comments until May 15, 2017.
While we cannot speculate on the likelihood that EPA will adopt any or all of the recommendations it receives, we note that this Administration has been aggressively touting its deregulatory approach and is taking concrete steps to better understand environmental regulatory burdens. For those who bemoaned the prior administration’s “regulatory onslaught” – this is your chance to ask for a change. Stakeholders should use this process to reach out to EPA, provide their recommendations in a clear and succinct manner, and make themselves available for the public hearings and potentially other meetings. Kelley Drye’s Environmental and Government relations practice groups are well equipped to help.
This is an Administration that operates far differently than previous administrations, and the regulated community need to be prepared for a different type of dialogue with EPA and other federal agencies. Stakeholders who clearly articulate their regulatory concerns and proposed remedies to EPA will stand a better chance of seeing those concerns addressed. Those entities that do not clearly identify their issues with EPA are not likely to see those issues addressed.