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EPA Seeks Public Input on Reg Review

Monday, February 21, 2011

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President Obama

The embattled U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is inviting public comment on a plan that will guide EPA’s internal review of its regulations as part of a government-wide regulatory review.

The review was triggered Jan. 18 by President Obama’s 2011 Executive Order (EO) 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.”

EO 13563 directs each federal agency to consider “how best to promote retrospective analysis of rules that may be outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome.”

The order calls on every agency to develop “a preliminary plan, consistent with law and its resources and regulatory priorities, under which the agency will periodically review its existing significant regulations to determine whether such regulations should be modified, streamlined, expanded or repealed to make the agency’s regulatory program more effective and or less burdensome in achieving its regulatory objectives.”

Targeting ‘Dumb’ Regulations

The order takes aim at federal regulations that, Obama said, “stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive.”

Obama said the government would “root out regulations that conflict, that are not worth the cost, or that are just plain dumb.”

The review follows widespread and growing criticism by many industries that several Obama agencies—led by EPA and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration—have been proposing and enacting regulations that accomplish little while killing jobs and choking economic growth.

The review has already prompted OSHA to withdraw an occupational noise proposal and a proposal on musculoskeletal injury reporting.

‘Common Sense and Transparency’

In inviting public input on its review, EPA said it shared Obama’s “commitment to using common sense and transparency to review federal regulations.”

The agency said it would post its plan on the EPA website through March 20, hold a public meeting on the review March 14 in Washington DC, and schedule “listening sessions” on the proposal at various locations nationwide.

The plan, and the regulations targeted for review, will be available in May, EPA said. For more information about the review, visit For information about environmental laws and regulations, visit


Tagged categories: EPA; Government; OSHA; Regulations

Comment from Catherine Brooks, (2/23/2011, 10:29 AM)

I hope the grumbling about RRP implementation will not suggest that the whole rule be trashed. Lead-safe work practices should be commonplace. Yes, it can be more expensive for contractors, but their customers' and workers' health need protection. Your other articles tell about the trend back to refurbishing older homes instead of demolishing them or building new ones. The denial of the dangers of lead paint will continue unless the public knows to demand protection.

Comment from Terry Singleton, (2/23/2011, 11:05 AM)

Sorry, but we live in the real world where laws are passed (such as the RRP rule) and yet, there is no possible way to enforce them. What that means is that legitimate contractors, who have something to lose, play by the rules while all of the others completely ignore them. Meanwhile, the guys that ignore the rules are working while the certified companies are out of work. Whose lives are we saving that way? Also, no one ever mentions Cal EPA regulations that will drive a typical job price up by OVER 400 PERCENT. In California, we are required to have all paint testing done by an electronic gun(no do-it-yourself kits), all waste must be characterized by more expensive testing prior to disposal and, last but not least, all waste with lead paint has to be put in hazardous waste disposal ($600 for a 50 gal drum, $6,000 for a dumpster). Please, guess why no one is saving lives by playing by the RRP rule? What are my workers supposed to tell their families when they don't have a paycheck?

Comment from Kathy Day, (2/23/2011, 7:11 PM)

Regulations such as RRP which can't or won't be enforced hurt all of us. Certified contractors lose work because their customers demand lower prices, not extra protection. Legitimate contractors risk fines over $30,000, but homeowners risk no fines at all. Less-reputable contractors can risk the small chance they will be caught or closed down. They won't pay a fine if they don't have the money & they can re-open under a different name. We are 10 months into this RRP lead rule, but has there been a reported violation? An estimated 3.2 renovations will fall under the rule this year. Who is doing the work & is it legal? Before this rule, my firm did these jobs & made the effort to collect much (but not all) of the lead dust. Uncertified companies don't care about any of this lead exposure for their customers or employees. Homeowners (who live in older houses) get more exposure now, not less. Legal companies go out of business. Who is helped by this law? Enforce the RRP regulation or get rid of it.

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