Saturday, February 9, 2019

CG Withdraws Two Hazardous Substance Response Plan Rulemakings

Yesterday the Coast Guard published two notices in the Federal Register (84 FR 2799-2800 and 84 FR 2800-2801) announcing the withdrawal of two long-dormant rulemakings concerning hazardous-substance spill response plans for marine transportation related facilities and tank vessels. These rulemakings, dating back to 2000 and 1999 respectively, were intended to expand the existing oil spill response plan requirements to hazardous substances. In both instances the CG justified the withdrawal of the rulemakings by noting that: “the proposed rules are no longer appropriate to the current state of spill response in the chemical industry”.

Neither of these rulemakings had been on the Active Unified Agenda since I have been watching that for this blog until the Trump Administration added them back to the Active Agenda for the Fall 2017 Unified Agenda. It is now apparent that it was added simply because the Coast Guard was reviewing the rulemakings to be determined if they should be withdrawn.

Both announcements carefully note that:

The withdrawal of the NPRM qualifies as a deregulatory action under Executive Order 13771 (Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs), which directs agencies to reduce regulation and control regulatory costs and provides that “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination, and that the cost of planned regulations be prudently managed and controlled through a budgeting process.”

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