Wednesday, December 21, 2016

OMB Approves EPA Chemical Safety Final Rule

Yesterday the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) announced that they had approved a final rule from the EPA implementing changes to the Clean Air Act regulations; the “Modernization of the Accidental Release Prevention Regulations under Clean Air Act”. This rule addresses changes to the Risk Management Program identified as a result of the President’s EO 13650 review of chemical safety and security programs. The notice of proposed rulemaking was published in March of this year. I did a series of blog posts about that NPRM.

This rule will certainly be included in any list of accomplishments of the Obama Administration; whether or not it withstands congressional review in the 115th Congress. For better or worse this will be a signature piece of chemical safety regulation.

It will be interesting to see if the EPA tried to craft a rule that would withstand that review or whether they went with a straight implementation of the NPRM. I suspect the later, given the surprising (in most quarters) election of Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton to head the next administration. Clinton would have been expected to veto any congressional review negating this rule.

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