Tuesday, March 27, 2018

EPA Sends Hazardous Substance Spill Prevention Rule to OMB

Yesterday the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) announced that it had received a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) from the EPA on preventing spills of hazardous substances. This rulemaking is being undertaken in response to a consent decree entered into in February 2016. That decree requires the EPA to issue an NPRM on or before June 16th, 2018 and a final rule by August 29th, 2019.

The listing for this rulemaking in the Fall 2017 Unified Agenda makes it clear that the Trump Administration is still looking for ways to circumvent this consent decree, which is not unexpected given its publicly professed point of view on government regulations.

The simplest way to comply with this requirement would be for the EPA to amend the current spill prevention, control and countermeasures (SPCC) regulations under 44 USC 112 to add hazardous substances to the oil spill regulations. While simple from a rule writing perspective this would certainly affect a large portion of the economy (see the listing of potentially effected sectors in the rulemaking description) and would be very costly. We might, however, see the Trump Administration do this to demonstrate a strongly negative cost-benefit relationship.

It could take some time for OIRA to approve this NPRM. I do not expect to see this rulemaking published before the mandated date.

No comments:

/* Use this with templates/template-twocol.html */