EPA Solicits Input on Regulatory Improvement, NACWA Preparing Recommendations

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EPA published a request for comment in the Federal Register on April 13, in response to President Trump’s Executive Order 13777 on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda, seeking input on federal regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement or modification. The notice requests feedback from the public by May 15, and asks that comments be as specific as possible and include any supporting data or information, including cost impacts.

In addition, the Office of Water is planning to hold a virtual public listening session from 11:00 am ET to 2:00 pm ET on May 2, to solicit input on water-related rules. The water office along with the other program offices at EPA have also been instructed by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to conduct their own information gathering efforts—separate from the April 13 notice—and to provide a report to the Agency’s Regulatory Reform Task Force by May 15.   

For several months, NACWA has been working with a Task Force of NACWA Board and committee leaders to develop the Association’s own list of regulatory improvement ideas. A draft version of that document is available for interested NACWA members -- to review the document, please contact Chris Hornback.  NACWA is working to engage the Agency in a meaningful dialogue on the issues identified in the document, and welcomes your feedback and comments. NACWA plans to provide input in response to the April 13 notice, but will also continue to leverage its existing relationships with EPA to pursue ideas for regulatory improvement outside of this public input process.

While EPA is likely to receive a tremendous number of comments in response to the April 13 notice, including many opposing the repeal of any regulations, NACWA encourages its members with specific concerns or ideas for rules needing reform to submit those by the May 15 deadline following the instructions in the Federal Register. NACWA’s separate regulatory improvement efforts with EPA will not be able to address every rule or issue that members identify, so we encourage you to submit your own ideas directly to EPA as well.    

NACWA will be meeting with EPA several times over the coming weeks, including an April 26 briefing session from key administration leaders on the regulatory reform effort. The Association will provide members an update on its continuing efforts to engage the new administration, including details on the upcoming Office of Water listening session.