May 29, 2019
The Trump administration will soon rewrite the factors it uses to determine the health risks of air pollution, a move critics warn will make it harder to place limits on emissions according to a May 21, 2019 report from The Hill.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler defended the change in a memorandum to staff dated May 13 and made public a day later as a way to rectify inconsistencies in the current cost-benefit analyses used by the agency across all sectors.
“Benefits and costs have historically been treated differently depending on the media office and the underlying authority. This has resulted in various concepts of benefits, costs and other factors that may be considered,” Wheeler wrote. “This memorandum will initiate an effort to rectify these inconsistencies through statute-specific actions.”
The memo, labeled, “Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Benefits and Costs in the Rulemaking Process,” is a direct result of President Trump’s regulatory reform agenda, according to Wheeler. That executive order asked agencies to identify rules that “impose costs that exceed benefits.”
Wheeler said EPA found stakeholders regularly said the costs stemming from environmental regulations outweighed the benefits.
“I have determined that the agency should proceed with benefit-cost reforms using a media-specific approach, taking into account the variety of statutory programs,” Wheeler wrote.
The reforms will span EPA’s offices of Air and Radiation, Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Land and Emergency Management and Water. The Office of Air and Radiation will be the first to submit their proposal “later this year.”
The memo didn’t identify specific changes to be made but told agency heads to use “sound economic and scientific principles.”
The Trump administration has long argued that Obama administration over-estimated the health risks for various environmental regulations, often to the detriment of industry.
What this means to you
The Trump administration will soon rewrite the factors it uses to determine the health risks of air pollution, a move that may make it harder to place limits on emissions. The Trump administration has long argued that Obama administration over-estimated the health risks for various environmental regulations, often to the detriment of industry.
MIRATECH can help
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