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Senators Ask About Retrospective Reviews

On November 9th, Republican Senators John Barrasso (WY) and Ron Portman (OH) formally requested that the Obama Administration provide information in response to Executive Order 13579 to improve the regulatory review process.  That order called for Independent Agencies (such as the Federal Trade Commission and EPA) to report by November 8, 2011, on voluntary actions that meet the same cost saving and burden reducing principles as required of executive branch agencies such as the Departments of Energy and Agriculture.  In particular, the Senators have asked the following:

  1. What existing significant regulations were identified by independent agencies for retrospective review?
  2. What existing regulations were determined to be outmoded, ineffective, excessively burdensome, or harmful to job creation?
  3. What is the timetable for action by independent agencies to eliminate or streamline those regulations, and what are the anticipated monetary savings?
  4. What independent agencies, if any, have committed to abide by your request that they “follow the key cost-saving, burden-reducing principals outlined in the January Executive Order [13563]” in promulgating new regulations?

EPA has been actively engaged in this retrospective review process – focusing, in drinking water, on potential revisions to the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) Rule, the Lead and Copper Rule, and the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule.  In August, the Agency published a report on their overarching plan.  ASDWA has shared this information with state primacy agencies.  See information at the following link to view the complete plan:  http://www.epa.gov/lawsregs/rulemaking/retrospective/index.html

The Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water began LT2 discussions earlier this year and has scheduled stakeholder sessions to begin in early 2012.  Plans for CCR and Lead and Copper reviews are on a slightly longer term schedule.  The expectation is that a CCR retrospective review could be completed within 12-18 months after the review cycle begins in 2012.  The Lead and Copper lookback is expected to build on the existing revision process and an anticipated proposed rulemaking is likely to occur in 2012