Update: EPA Rescinds Clean Air Act Transparency Rule
[Update: 05/14/2021]Calling changes made during the previous Administration “inadvisable, untethered to the Clean Air Act, and not necessary,” EPA today published an Interim Final Rule to rescind revisions to EPA’s procedures for identifying costs and benefits of new air regulations.
The Final Rule "Strengthening Transparency in Pivotal Science..." discussed below is also slated for review by EPA in line with an Executive Order issued earlier this year.
[Original Text: Posted 1/14/2021]Two recent US EPA rulemakings will impact the way the agency creates future environmental regulations. Both rules deal with how EPA uses available environmental and public health data to make decisions about how stringently to regulate certain pollutants.
Consistency and Transparency for Clean Air Act RulesOn December 23, 2020, EPA finalized the rule titled Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Benefits and Costs in the Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process.
The rule bolsters EPA procedures for considering costs and benefits of new Clean Air Act rulemakings.
The rule includes three major elements, it:
- Requires EPA to prepare a Benefit Cost Analysis (BCA) for all future significant proposed and final regulations under the Clean Air Act; and
- Requires EPA to use the best available scientific information when creating a BCA, using now codified best practices from EPA and OMB guidance; and
- Adds procedural requirements to increase transparency in the presentation and consideration of BCA results.
Transparency in Pivotal Science for EPA RegulationsTo cultivate more relevant underlying data for future rulemakings, EPA finalized Strengthening Transparency in Pivotal Science Underlying Significant Regulatory Actions and Influential Scientific Information on January 6, 2021.
This rule has two distinct facets:
- When promulgating significant regulatory actions or developing influential scientific information using quantitative data relating to the dosage or exposure to a pollutant, contaminant, or substance and an effect, EPA will give greater consideration to dose-response data that is most easily accessible for independent study; and
- EPA must identify and make publicly available the data used to inform a significant regulatory action at the proposed or draft stage to the extent practicable.
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