March 21, 2017

Notice & Comment: On the Horizon

Scott Pruitt has been confirmed as EPA administrator in a close vote, with Democrats expressing concern about his ties to the oil and gas industry. Once the EPA staffs up its senior positions, we can anticipate changes happening quickly. But what will those changes be?

Recent Events

The Obama administration's Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule, which defines waters regulated by the Clean Water Act, remains in the midst of litigation while the Trump administration works toward repeal and replace options. Only time will tell what waters are regulated, but there will be impacts on the agricultural industry either way. Budget cuts are also a hot topic, with climate change, water safety and air quality programs on the chopping block.

EPA Policy Goals

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says the agency can be pro-business and pro-environment, expressing his view that regulators are in place to bring businesses certainty. Budget cuts would mean fewer resources, but the different in policy coming out of these cuts is hard to anticipate. Once EPA’s policy goals are clarified, states will have the opportunity to react.

What else is in play? Our FaegreBD environmental lawyers Scott Halbur and Olivia Lucas discuss current events and peek behind the curtain to see what changes may be on the horizon for the EPA – and the companies it regulates.

Update: Since the recording of this podcast, the Trump administration issued an executive order regarding the "Clean Power Plan." Further information on this executive order can be found in our recent client alert.

Faegre Baker Daniels’ new monthly podcast, “Notice and Comment: Faegre Baker Daniels Environmental Podcast” showcases attorneys from Faegre Baker Daniels’ offices nationwide and guests as they discuss cutting-edge issues in environmental law. Topics will cover the spectrum of federal and state environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act, NEPA, SDWA, CERCLA, RCRA and TSCA – all from a practitioner’s perspective.

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