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EPA Reducing Regulatory Burden on Industry

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced its new Smart Sectors program, a partnership program between agency and regulated sectors focused on achieving better environmental outcomes while reducing  regulatory burden on industry. Announced via publication on the Federal Register (EPA Smart Sectors Program Launch - 82 FR 44783), EPA summarizes the program’s purpose:

EPA's Smart Sectors program will re-examine how EPA engages with industry in order to reduce unnecessary regulatory burden, create certainty and predictability, and improve the ability of both EPA and industry to conduct long-term regulatory planning while also protecting the environment and public health.

On October 3rd, the EPA held a launch event for the new program, which the agency called “a sector-based collaborative approach” that allows for “more forward-thinking ways” to protect the environment.

“When we consider American business as a partner, as opposed to an adversary, we can achieve better environmental outcomes. The Smart Sectors program is designed to effectively engage business partners throughout the regulatory process. The previous administration created a narrative that you can’t be pro-business and pro-environment. This program is one of the many ways we can address that false choice and work together to protect the environment. When industries and regulators better understand each other, the economy, public, and the environment all benefit,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

In the Federal Register publication, the EPA identifies 13 sectors to work with based on the potential to improve the environment and public health:

  • Aerospace
  • Agriculture
  • Automotive
  • Cement and concrete
  • Chemical manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Electronics and technology
  • Iron and steel
  • Oil and gas
  • Ports and shipping
  • Utilities and power generation

For each industry, the program will designate staff-level points of contact who are “highly knowledgeable about specific industries. These contacts will act as liaisons among industry trade associations and companies, EPA program and regional offices, state and local governments, and other stakeholder groups. The liaisons will focus on three main areas:

  1. Building relationships and improving customer service to sectors
  2. Developing additional expertise in each industry's operations and environmental performance
  3. Informing the planning of future policies, regulations, and Agency processes

The EPA plans on working with the involved parties to engage in active dialogue and generate innovate ideas to reduce environmental impacts.

For more information and a video of the launch event, see the EPA Smart Sectors Program Page.

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