Washington Regulatory Agenda Moving Forward

The Trump Administration continued efforts to repeal excess regulations with the release of the Fall Regulatory Agenda. The agenda does not include all upcoming and expected actions rather it provides information on agency priorities for the coming year.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has targeted May 2018 to release a proposed rewrite of the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule and finalize the new rule in June 2019.

The 2015 rule would have regulated dry streambeds and isolated waters, and would have been a hardship to companies in the industry. 

The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) and member companies said they will continue to provide input to the administration on crafting a rule that protects the environment and is clear for operators. 

The EPA has also noted that “Increasing Consistency, Reliability and Transparency in the Rulemaking Process” is listed in the pre-rule stage. This rule would commit EPA to providing the public with a better understanding of how it evaluates costs of regulatory actions when developing them.

The Labor Department agenda yielded few surprises. MSHA is requesting public comment on existing standards and regulations that could be improved, streamlined or replaced. The goal is to make existing standards more effective and less burdensome by accommodating for advances in technology, innovative techniques and less costly methods. Also, MSHA highlighted that the new Workplace Exams Rule is to conclude in June.

The agency is continuing to work with NIOSH on seeking best practices for reducing overexposures to diesel exhaust in underground operations and the public comment period on that matter closes today, Jan. 9. In April, the agency will seek input on possible improvements to the way in which it reviews petitions for modifications to standards.

“NSSGA will continue to work with the administration on streamlining requirements on important safety and environmental issues that affect the aggregates industry,” said Emily Coyner, NSSGA senior director of environmental policy.

The administration has continued to fill key regulatory positions in federal agencies, and recently confirmed David Ross to lead EPA‘s Office of Water and William Wehrum to head EPA‘s Office of Air and Radiation.