May 2018

Trump Administration Releases Latest Regulatory Plan
Updates to WOTUS

By Julie Ufner, NACo Associate Legislative Director – Environment, Energy & Land Use
      Zach George, NACo Legislative Assistant

On May 9, the Trump Administration released its biannual Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The Unified Agenda contains expected regulatory actions for all federal agencies in the next six months.

Included in the agenda are proposed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations that could impact counties. A significant update in the agenda is the 2015 Obama-era Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. Previously, EPA had promised that a proposed rule would be released this month and finalized by the end of the year. However, the Unified Agenda indicates that the withdrawal of the rule will occur in November 2018. A new WOTUS definition will be proposed in August 2018 and finalized in September 2019. Due to confusion surrounding the withdrawal process, the EPA will release a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking for the 2015 WOTUS rule later this month. This supplemental rulemaking notice will be open for public comment for 30 days.

In addition to WOTUS, the agenda includes publication and final rule dates for several other regulations important to counties. Some key regulations include:

  • Rewrite of EPA’s Risk Management Program rule for emergency management around chemical facilities
  • Updating the Lead & Copper rule for drinking water systems
  • Requiring waste streams to recycle aerosol cans
  • Revising rules for disposal of excess pharmaceuticals

Reprinted from NACo County News, May 15 issue. 

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