EPA Rules Open for Comment (short summaries)

The Trump Administration has launched a massive assault on our climate, our public health and our environment.
We think that’s a really bad idea.

We create tools and talking points for people who want to speak out in defense of our protections.  

Make Your Voice Heard

President Trump may be having trouble getting Congress to adopt his agenda, but he has more control over federal agencies.  The Trump Administration is taking dead aim at regulations that protect people’s lives, livelihoods and communities – including regulations that protect our public health and environment. Fortunately, no president can roll back regulations by fiat. The Trump Administration must go through the same process that’s used for making regulations, and that process gives everyone the opportunity to participate. 

We’ve developed a how-to manual with insights and advice on HOW to to participate in a rulemaking process. It is a step-by-step guide for individuals, groups, and organizations who want to make their voices heard. Learn more about “A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Deregulatory Agenda” here, and download your own PDF copy of the guide.  

Lower on this page, we post a list of EPA rules now open for comment, with links to information about the rules and suggested talking points for commenters.</span>

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Rules Now Open For Comment

The Trump Administration has targeted many EPA regulations to be weakened or outright eliminated.  Also targeted are related rules of other agencies.  Save EPA is tracking these actions, and providing talking points to help commenters who want to resist the Trump agenda. As the people these regulations are designed to protect, we need to be loud and clear that these protections are important to us. We can’t afford to be silent while President Trump tries to take the U.S.A. backwards to a time of dirty air, polluted waters and contaminated land. 

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Rollback of Clean Water Act Protections

The Trump Administration wants to remove Clean Water Act protections from two million miles of waterways and millions of acres of wetlands. Rollback of this rule would put drinking water at risk for 117 million Americans. 

The Clean Water Rule (“Waters of the U.S.” or WOTUS rule) was issued in 2015 to more clearly define which “waters” are protected under the Clean Water Act.  The Rule’s definition of protected waters is based on hydrologic science. It recognizes the real-world connections that exist between large volume, “navigable” waters and smaller non-navigable streams and wetlands.   The Clean Water Rule protects tributary streams that can greatly impact downstream water.

Part 1: Rollback of the Clean Water Rule

Comment Period Ended September 27, 2017

The proposal recently open for comment would eliminate the scientific definition of “waters of the U.S.” created in the 2015 Clean Water Rule and revert to an old, unclear definition. 

Part 2: Changing the Definition of “Waters of the U.S.”

Stakeholder Teleconferences and Meeting September 19 – November 21; Opportunity to Submit Pre-Proposal Written Comments

A second rule-making will be required to propose the Trump Administration’s preferred definition of “waters of the U.S.” 

The Trump Administration has posted a notice to begin the public process to re-define “Waters of the U.S.”  As expected, the Administration has signaled its intent to redefine “waters of the US” to include only navigable waters.

The process outlined by the Trump Administration for Part 2 is underway. The agencies have not proposed a rule and it’s not clear when they will do so. However, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have scheduled ten “outreach” teleconferences and one in-person meeting to gather public comments between September 19 and November 21.  Anyone can register to participate in the general public teleconference on November 14; you may have additional opportunities to participate if you are a member of a targeted category of stakeholders.  Register soon — spots are limited.  Also, EPA has set up a docket to accept written pre-proposal comments to be included in the administration record of the regulation to revise the definition of “Waters of the U.S.” under the Clean Water Act.

For information on the Clean Water Rule, the rollback proposal, definitions of “waters of the U.S.” — and information on how to participate or comment, including talking points — see Defending Our Waters.


Opposing Subsidies for Coal & Nuclear Power Plants:
DOE Proposed Rule for FERC Final Action on Wholesale Electricit
y Prices
(
Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule)

Comment by October 23, 2017

The Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) finalize a rule that would subsidize generation of electricity by coal and nuclear power plants by paying them for the costs of all the electricity they generate regardless of whether the electricity is needed.  This would disadvantage electricity from natural gas and renewable resources.  DOE advocates this on grounds that the subsidy is needed for grid reliability, a claim that cannot be supported.  The proposal would have an adverse effect on consumer electricity prices, the economy, and the environment.  Yet no analysis of these impacts is offered by DOE.

For information on the proposal and how to comment — including suggested talking points — see Opposing Subsidies for Coal and Nuclear Power Plants

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Suspension of the BLM Methane and Waste Prevention Rule    

Comment by November 6, 2017  

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a rule in November 2016 to reduce waste of natural gas from flaring, venting and leaks from oil and gas production on public and tribal lands.  The requirements are designed to limit waste of federal natural gas resources and avoid loss of royalty payments to federal, state and tribal governments for the sale of their resources.  The rule has the additional benefit of reducing air pollutant emissions that drive smog and climate change.  The rule replaces old and ineffective regulations that had not been updated in 35 years.

The BLM is proposing to delay implementation of almost every substantive provision of the Waste Prevention Rule for 18 months, until January 17, 2019.  During this period, the Trump Administration will consider how it will modify or pull back the rule.

For more information and suggested talking points go to Defending the BLM Methane and Waste Prevention Rule.   

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Repeal of the Clean Power Plan

Comment by December 15, 2017

Public Hearing will be scheduled if requested

Despite the serious impacts of climate change now and in the future, the Trump administration is proposing to repeal the federal rule to control our country’s biggest source of climate pollution — fossil-fuel-fired power plants.  The Administration has proposed to repeal now and consider whether to replace the rule later.

The proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) is the next step in implementation of President Trump’s March 28 Executive Order titled “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” which calls for review and revision or repeal of many climate rules and policies.

The CPP was developed after years of extensive public engagement that explored how best to establish requirements under the Clean Air Act to limit climate-changing carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution from the power sector.  The rule establishes emission targets and provides each state with flexibility to design its own plan for cutting CO2 pollution from fossil-fuel-fired power plants.  By 2030, the CPP would help achieve a 32 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from the power sector relative to the 2005 level.  CO2 reduction strategies also would cut emissions of other air pollutants that are associated with increases in heart attacks, hospital admissions for asthma attacks, and deaths.

EPA’s 2015 analysis shows that the health, environmental and other economic benefits of the CPP are large, dwarfing the costs to comply. The net benefits (the benefits minus costs) were estimated to range from between $26 billion to $45 billion in 2030.  The Trump administration has produced a new economic analysis that omits some benefits and changes key assumptions, producing a different assessment to support the repeal.

EPA will accept public comment on the proposal to repeal the CPP until December 15, 2017.  A public hearing will be held if anyone requests one. For more information on this rollback proposal and how to comment see Defending the Clean Power Plan.

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DOWNLOAD: A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR RESISTING THE TRUMP DE-REGULATORY AGENDA (2nd Ed)

RM-Guide.7-23-17.2

DOWNLOAD: A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR RESISTING THE TRUMP DE-REGULATORY AGENDA (2nd Ed)

One thought on “EPA Rules Open for Comment (short summaries)

  1. Holly Pollinger

    We are a new group in Washington D.C. of concerned residents who are looking to be effective here. We need guidance on what our primary action items should be. What are the 3 MOST EFFECTIVE ACTIONS WE CAN TAKE TO HELP? Thank you for your response. Holly Pollinger holpollinger@comcast.net Moderator for Cathedral Heights Combatting Climate Change.

    Reply

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