The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently initiated actions in response to multiple Executive Orders issued by President Trump directing major regulatory reforms.  In a staff memo intended to facilitate compliance with the “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda” Executive Order, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt designated a Regulatory Reform Officer and established a Regulatory Reform Task Force to evaluate existing regulations and make recommendations regarding those that can be repealed, replaced or modified to reduce the burdens on the regulated community.  Administrator Pruitt further directed the Offices of Air and Radiation, Land and Emergency Management, Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Water, Environmental Information, Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations and Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization to provide the Task Force with recommendations for specific rules that should be targeted.  Each of these offices must hold a dedicated public meeting and provide their recommendations by May 15th.

EPA also took two other significant actions related to President Trump’s recent Executive Orders.  In light of last week’s “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” Executive Order, EPA filed a March 31st motion with the D.C. Circuit Court seeking to hold in abeyance challenges to EPA’s previous denials of administrative petitions to reconsider the Clean Power Plan.  EPA specifically cites this order in justifying its motion, requesting that the abeyance remain in place until 30 days after the review of and any forthcoming revision to the Clean Power Plan.

Using similar reasoning, EPA is also withdrawing the proposed Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) and Clean Energy Incentive Plan (CEIP), designed to facilitate implementation of the Clean Power Plan.  EPA’s notice, published in the Federal Register on April 3rd, emphasizes that EPA will review the Clean Power Plan pursuant to last week’s Executive Order and ultimately reassess the proposed FIP and CEIP in conjunction with its review.  EPA notes, however, that the withdrawal is not based on any final substantive decision with respect to the proposals, but rather on procedural reasons.

For more information, please contact Peter Glaser, Andrea Wortzel or Andy Flavin.