The Trump administration’s new regulatory agenda looks encouraging for aggregates industry priorities, says the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA). It includes the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule, Mine Safety Health Administration (MSHA) improvements and the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The agenda does not include all upcoming and expected actions by federal agencies but provides information on their priorities for the upcoming year, the association adds.
According to a report from the administration: “The Agenda reflects core Administration priorities for reducing regulatory burdens across administrative agencies, including in the anticipated deregulatory and regulatory actions.”
Also, the document indicated that efforts have resulted in $23 billion in regulatory cost savings in fiscal year 2018 across all federal agencies.
Environmental Protection Agency
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expects to propose a replacement WOTUS rule this month, with a final repeal of the 2015 rule in March 2019, followed by a final replacement rule in September 2019.
The 2015 rule would have regulated dry steambeds and isolated waters and creased hardships and confusion for member companies – which NSSGA continues to advocate as a critical issue.
Additionally, the EPA intends to propose a rule on improving their cost-benefit analysis in May 2019, which the NSSGA commented on as a general reform issue in August. EPA also projects that the rule on requiring the science underpinning rules to be transparent will be complete in 2020.
The MSHA is expected to modernise outdated regulations in 2019. In August, the NSSGA asked the administration to update training videos to depict conditions and behaviours which are compliant and safe and to update the manual on accident investigations. MSHA continues its request for data and information on technologies such as collision warning and seat belt starter interlock systems which could reduce incidents involving mobile equipment. The public comment period closes on 24 December and the NSSGA will submit comments and seek input from members for its comments.
US Fish and Wildlife Services
US Fish and Wildlife Services continues to reform regulations to ease permitting burdens related to the administration of the ESA, in which the NSSGA also provided comments. The agency anticipates final actions later this year on issues such as their revised favourable critical habitat definition and inter-agency cooperation. It also expects to propose new riles in December 2019 on incidental take of species and other issues on species management.