The saga of the amendments to the Risk Management Program continues. Based on a premise that turned out to be unfounded, the amendments now seem to be destined for repeal or at least a major re-write.

In April, 2013, a fire and subsequent explosion at the West Fertilizer facility in West, Texas, caused 15 deaths, injured 300 people, destroyed more than 500 homes, and left a crater 93 feet wide and 12 feet deep. Shortly thereafter, President Obama issued Executive Order 13650, which, among other things, directed agencies such as EPA to improve the safety and security of chemical facilities through regulations, information reporting requirements, and site inspections. The White House cited the West Fertilizer explosion as an example of the need to address the serious risks presented by chemicals. Continue reading “RIP to RMP?”

ALERT: The Trump Administration’s Second Week

The Trump Administration’s second week was somewhat calmer as to its environmental agenda. Nevertheless, there were some important developments.

The administration took aim at the number of regulations issued by executive agencies, issuing an Executive Order, Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, on January 30, 2017. Dubbed the “One In, Two Out” Order, it essentially requires that, unless prohibited by law, the agency identify two existing regulations to be repealed when it publicly proposes a new regulation. The environmental statues do not contain a specific provision that explicitly prohibits this practice. As a result, EPA should be subject to this order during its rule-makings. However, many of the regulations issued by EPA are based on, or otherwise required by, the environmental statutes. It may be prove difficult for EPA to repeal two regulations when issuing a rule that is required by an environmental statute, as those to-be-repealed regulations may be required by a statute. The order should, however, inhibit or curtail discretionary rule-makings and promote the repeal of other discretionary rule-makings. Continue reading “ALERT: The Trump Administration’s Second Week”

ALERT: The Trump Administration’s First Week

President Trump and his staff have taken several steps to implement his environmental agenda.

As reported previously (see Freeze on Regulations), Mr. Trump’s Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, on January 20, 2017, issued a Memorandum requiring, among other things, that all federal agencies postpone the effective date of all regulations published in the Federal Register but not yet effective as of January 20, 2017. EPA, on January 23, 2017, complied, postponing the effective date of thirty rules until March 21, 2017. See 82 Fed. Reg. 8499 (Jan. 26, 2017). The thirty regulations include the:

  • Risk Management Program revisions (previously effective on March 14, 2017),
  • Renewable Fuel Standards for 2017 (previously effective on February 10, 2017), and
  • Addition of a subsurface intrusion component to the hazard ranking system (previously effective on February 8, 2017).

Continue reading “ALERT: The Trump Administration’s First Week”

Recent Rules by Bush to be Rolled Back?

Recent Rules by Bush To Be Rolled-Back?

It was reported by the Associated Press on November 15, 2008 that the U.S. Congress may use the Congressional Review Act of 1996 to overturn federal regulations that have been recently issued by the Bush Administration. A spokesperson for Rep. Edward Markey (D – Mass) stated that Rep. Markey would consider repealing regulations he considers “egregious.’ Mentioned in the article are recent rules relating to global warming and greenhouse gases, rules easing hazardous waste restrictions, and rules relating to exemptions for water permits and oil refinery emissions. Continue reading “Recent Rules by Bush to be Rolled Back?”