ASDWA Submits Comments on EPA Guidance Proposal

On May 22, 2020, EPA proposed regulations to establish the procedures and requirements for how the Agency will manage the issuance of guidance documents subject to the requirements of the Executive order entitled “Promoting the Rule of Law Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents.”

ASDWA submitted comments today emphasizing the following:

  • Guidance is critical for state primacy agencies’ implementation of rules. Guidance development is particularly essential when EPA is promulgating a new rule and such guidance should be delivered as close to finalization of the rule as feasible.
  • Under cooperative federalism, state primacy agencies are the co-regulators with EPA therefore, when guidance is deemed necessary, ASDWA strongly encourages EPA to seek early, meaningful, and substantial involvement from states on the content of guidance and the practicalities of implementation.
  • Appropriate state regulatory programs should be directly notified through EPA Headquarters program offices or EPA Region staff when the agency is considering developing, modifying, or revoking guidance and should be made aware of any potential actions before EPA takes action.
  • ASDWA strongly encourages both the petitions and EPA’s response be made public on the EPA Guidance Portal or in a similar table or database.
  • ASDWA suggests petitions or requests by states to develop, revoke, or modify guidance be prioritized, since states are co-regulators with EPA and implement EPA’s regulations.
  • ASDWA suggests EPA improve access the guidance and conduct multiple reviews to ensure that all guidance documents used by Drinking Water Programs are included and accessible in the portal.