USEPA’s Updated Regulatory Agenda: Say Hello to Old Friends and a Few New Faces

Squire Sanders
Katy M. Franz

December 9, 2013
USA

USEPA released an updated regulatory agenda on November 27, 2013.  The Fall 2013 agenda contains only a handful of new rulemaking proposals, indicating that USEPA will be focused in 2014 on completing the long list of regulatory actions already in progress.  Despite this renewed focus, USEPA has further delayed the proposal and finalization of several significant rulemakings, including the following:

  • The proposed review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for Lead has been delayed from January 2014 to July 2014;
  • The proposed implementation rule for the 2012 NAAQS for PM2.5 has been delayed from February 2014 to May 2014;
  • Proposed effluent standards for shale gas extraction have been delayed from April 2014 to October 2014; and
  • The final cooling water intake structure rule has been delayed from July 2013 to January 2014.

Noticeably absent from the Fall 2013 agenda is…

an anticipated timeline for completion of the coal combustion residuals waste management rule, which was proposed in June 2010 and stands to affect hundreds of coal-fired power plants across the US.  Also absent is a projected completion date for the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for carbon dioxide emissions from new electric generating units, which has been in the works since 2011.  In addition, USEPA removed the May 2015 anticipated final rule date for state implementation plan requirements for the 2008 ozone NAAQS without offering a new projected date.

USEPA added very few new rulemakings to the Fall 2013 agenda.  As expected, the Agency added the anticipated June 2015 final rule date for greenhouse gas standards for existing utility boilers to the agenda, consistent with Presidential directive.  Other notable additions to the non-long-term Fall 2013 agenda include:

  • Proposed hydraulic fracturing chemical reporting requirements expected August 2014;
  • Proposed amendments to the definition of “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act expected December 2013;
  • An anticipated final rule date of May 2014 for amendments to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) and NSPS for internal combustion engines; and
  • An anticipated final rule date of February 2014 for revisions to the definition of solid waste.

The semi-annual updates to USEPA’s regulatory agency highlighted here comprise a fraction of the rulemakings currently underway.  For a more complete list of rulemakings that may affect you and USEPA’s intended schedule for completing those rulemakings, consult both the Agency Rule List and Long-Term Actions made available electronically by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

This article is being provided for informational purposes only and not for the purposes of providing legal advice or creating an attorney-client relationship. You should contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem you may have. In addition, the opinions expressed herein are the opinions of Ms. Franz and may not reflect the opinions of Synergy Environmental, Inc., Squire Sanders LLP or either of those firms’ clients.

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