Spring Regulatory Agenda Features New Initiatives

The Trump administration released its updated agenda of pending regulations and upcoming regulatory rollbacks. The agenda does not include all expected actions, but it does provide projected dates on agency priorities for the coming year. The deadlines listed are dependent on numerous factors and rules and actions can be delayed.

“The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) will continue to work with members to provide input to the administration on important safety and environmental issues that affect the aggregates industry,” said Michele Stanley, NSSGA vice president of government and regulatory affairs.

The Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) agenda includes three items of particular interest to NSSGA members.

  • MSHA announced it will release a Request for Information (RFI) on respirable crystalline silica in July 2019. The agency will be seeking information and data concerning protective measures, including an appropriately reduced permissible exposure limit, protective technologies, and/or technical and educational assistance.
  • MSHA intends to issue a proposed rule for a “potential safety program” for mobile equipment at surface operations and the surface areas of underground operations. The agenda does not elaborate on what MSHA intends as a “safety program.” The proposed rule is set to be released in March 2020.
  • As part of the agency’s regulatory reform initiative, MSHA intends to issue either a Direct Final Rule or a Proposed Rule in October 2019 on use of electronic detonators for blasting.

Major Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules are also expected to see progress this year and next.

  • A proposed rule-making for the particulate matter air quality standard in March 2020
  • The final withdrawal of the 2015 Waters of the U.S. Rule (WOTUS) in August 2019, and the final WOTUS replacement rule in December 2019.
  • NSSGA provided comments on EPA’s strengthening transparency in regulatory science rule in 2018, and the agency expects a final rule in December 2019.
  • EPA’s compensatory mitigation for losses of aquatic resources is also on the agenda. The review and approval of mitigation banks and in-lieu fee programs is slated for a notice of proposed rule-making for December 2019and a final rule in September 2020. 

The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) agenda also indicates some impending action.

  • Final rules on interagency cooperation, listing species and designating critical habitat, for which NSSGA provided comments in 2018, are expected this month (May 2019).
  • The FWS agenda also indicates a notice of proposed rule-making for revisions to designation of critical habitat in December 2019.