Spring Regulatory Agenda Reveals EPA, MSHA Priorities

According to the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA), the Trump administration recently released its Spring Regulatory Agenda, outlining the actions federal agencies intend to prioritize in the coming year.

Updating and clarifying the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) Rule is high on the administration’s list. NSSGA attended a meeting at the White House on May 10 as part of ongoing efforts to stress the importance of a rule that protects the environment and is clear for operators.

The EPA, according to the agenda, has targeted August 2018 to release a proposed rewrite of the 2015 WOTUS Rule and finalize the new rule in September 2019. This rewritten rule will replace the 2015 WOTUS rule that would have regulated dry streambeds and isolated waters and posed a hardship to companies in the industry. EPA will still need to officially withdraw the 2015 rule, and that action is expected in November 2018.

Another priority EPA plans to advance is its recently released Transparency in Regulatory Science Proposal. The proposal, released earlier this month, aims to address long-standing concerns that regulations be fully transparent and based upon sound science. It is similar to legislation that NSSGA has supported in the past and the association intends to comment favorably on this proposal.

EPA’s list also includes a proposed rule regarding the way critical habitats for endangered species are designed. NSSGA opposed the 2014 rule expanding the definition of critical habitat, which would result in more land requiring federal permits.

The Department of Labor agenda states that MSHA is requesting data and information on technologies that can reduce accidents involving powered haulage equipment. These technologies include collision warning, proximity detection, seat belt starter interlock systems and more.

The agency continues to seek public comment on possible reforms of existing standards and regulations, on which NSSGA has developed comments and will continue to do so. Also, the agency continues to seek input on approaches that could improve control of diesel particulate matter in underground facilities.

“NSSGA is pleased to engage with the Trump administration on its constructive regulatory reform agenda,” said Joseph Casper, NSSGA vice president of safety policy.

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