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EPA Proposes Rule to Improve Transparency of Guidance

On Tuesday (5/19), EPA released its first-ever proposed rule to establish consistent requirements and procedures for the issuance of guidance documents. Guidance documents are typically critical for implementation of drinking water regulations, as “the devil’s in the details”. For example, ASDWA recommended guidance documents be developed on 16 different topics in its comments on the proposed Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR).

This new rule will significantly increase the transparency of EPA’s practices around guidance and will improve the agency’s process for managing guidance documents. When final, the rule will:

  • Establish the first formal petition process for the public to request that EPA modify or withdraw a guidance document;
  • Ensure that the agency’s guidance documents are developed with appropriate review and are accessible and transparent to the public; and
  • Provide for public participation in the development of significant guidance documents.

Comments are due 30 days after publication of the proposal is published in the Federal Register. The pre-publication version of the proposal can be found here.