Friday, July 21, 2017

Trump timetable to roll back many Obama-era regulations on environment, other subjects

EPA plans to change data-gathering
requirements about pesticides that
threaten pollinators. (
The White House Office of Management and Budget announced an "aggressive plan to roll back environmental regulations," Timothy Cama reports for The Hill.

The list deals with a wide range of policy areas and "shows the extent to which this administration is determined to erase many of the Obama administration’s policy priorities," report Juliet Eilperin and Damian Paletta of The Washington Post. "In several instances, the administration is dropping rules aimed at tightening worker safety standards or omitting species the government had pledged to protect under the Endangered Species Act. In other cases, it is proposing new regulations that provide employers with more leeway in how they run their businesses or report their activities to federal officials."

OMB provided new timelines or reasoning for several plans that had already been announced, such as repeal of the Clean Power Plan, which would limit carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants, and the definition of "waters of the United States" in the Clean Water Act.

Next month, the Environmental Protection Agency plans to finalize its delays to "methane pollution limits for landfills and methane limits for oil and gas drilling," reports Cama. In January, it plans to propose a new procedure for cancelling or denying pesticide regulations, reports Arianna Skibell of Environmental & Energy News. In April, it plans to issue a rule allowing some notices about new uses of pesticides to be published on a new EPA page rather than in the Federal Register. In June it plans to propose an update to requirements for gathering data about pesticides that could threaten pollinators.

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney said, “Our philosophy has been that the previous administration fudged the numbers — that they either overstated the benefits to people or understated the costs — and we are going to look at it in a much more pragmatic perspective.” The Post reports, "Consumer and worker advocates countered that Trump officials were scrapping critical government safeguards, and the implications of these actions could ripple across the country for years."

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