Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Congressional Research Service Report Released: EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?

The Congressional Research Service (CRS), the public policy research arm of Congress, just issued the report
EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track? (Oct. 5, 2012).  The 46 page report authored by James E. McCarthy and Claudia Copeland,
provides background information on recent EPA regulatory activity . . . [i]t [also]examines 45 major or controversial regulatory actions taken by or under development at EPA since January 2009, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of the rule (including identification of related court or statutory deadlines), and, in general, providing EPA’s estimates of costs and benefits, where available. The report includes tables that show which rules have been finalized and which remain under development.
The report also discusses factors that affect the timeframe in which regulations take effect, including statutory and judicial deadlines, public comment periods, judicial review, and permitting procedures, the net results of which are that existing facilities are likely to have several years before being required to comply with most of the regulatory actions under discussion. Unable to account for such factors, which will vary from case to case, timelines that show dates for proposal and promulgation of EPA standards effectively underestimate the complexities of the regulatory process and overstate the near-term impact of many of the regulatory actions.

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