President Biden signed a new Executive Order (E.O.) to advance environmental justice (EJ) late last week, just in time for Earth Day. E.O. 14096, Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All, aims to carry out its title through a bevy of actions, including requiring agencies to create EJ strategic plans, directing research on EJ issues, expanding notifications for toxic chemical releases, and increasing coordination on EJ by establishing a new EJ Interagency Council and White House Office of Environmental Justice. The new E.O. builds on the Biden Administration’s “whole-of-government” approach to EJ, making clear that the obligation to consider and address EJ applies across federal agencies. The E.O.’s directives are likely to guide federal agency permitting, funding grants, and other authorizations for projects or activities that may have implications for EJ communities. On the same day as the E.O. was signed, the administration also announced a handful of other steps to further its EJ priorities.Continue Reading New Environmental Justice Executive Order Includes Additional Requirements and Accountability Measures for Federal Agency Environmental Justice Efforts
Environmental justice and equity issues have taken center stage as part of the national conversation on the environment, climate change and racial equality. As we have explained, environmental justice will be a central focus of the Biden administration, as reflected in a recent Executive Order that declares federal agencies:
shall make achieving environmental justice part of their missions by developing programs, policies, and activities to address the disproportionately high and adverse human health, environmental, climate-related and other cumulative impacts on disadvantaged communities, as well as the accompanying economic challenges of such impacts.Continue Reading Green Amendments: A Fundamental Right to a Healthy Environment?
As we have explained, environmental justice will be a central focus of the Biden-Harris administration. A recent Executive Order declares federal agencies “shall make achieving environmental justice part of their missions by developing programs, policies, and activities to address the disproportionately high and adverse human health, environmental, climate-related and other cumulative impacts on disadvantaged communities, as well as the accompanying economic challenges of such impacts.” Both big and small, changes are coming at the federal level on permitting, rulemaking, enforcement, and other actions that will have a practical impact on corporations and communities.
Continue Reading California Launches Updated Environmental Justice Screening Tool
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be 50 years old this year. Over the past half century, EPA has issued literally tens of thousands of documents explaining its extensive regulatory programs. These guidance documents come in a wide variety of forms. Some may be signed by the EPA Administrator. Many more are signed by officials in program offices, in the Regions, or even by technical staff. Some may provide broad national guidance, while others interpret rules in source-specific factual settings. Guidance may appear in preambles to rules, in response to “frequently asked questions” (FAQS), in applicability determinations, in Environmental Appeals Board decisions, in General Counsel opinions, and in many other ways. And of course, as Administrations change, guidance may change to reflect new policies. Anyone who has had to manage environmental compliance is familiar with the challenges of identifying operative agency guidance.
Continue Reading Agency Guidance and EO 13891 – What’s “active” and what’s “rescinded”?
As states are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases and pausing reopening efforts, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has forged ahead with setting a definite termination date for its temporary COVID-19 enforcement policy.
Continue Reading EPA Sets Termination Date for Temporary Enforcement Policy
Agency guidance will be subject to certain standards and procedures under a proposed rule published by EPA in the Federal Register on May 22, 2020. According to EPA, the proposed rule is “intended to increase the transparency of EPA’s guidance practices and improve the process used to manage EPA guidance documents.” EPA will accept written comments on the proposed rule until June 22, 2020.
Continue Reading A Rule on Guidance: EPA to Propose Rule Establishing Procedures and Requirements for Issuing and Managing Guidance Documents
On May 19, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) intended to combat the unprecedented effect COVID-19 has had on the American economy, by directing agencies to remove or ease regulatory barriers to spur economic growth. In general, the EO directs agencies to ease regulatory and enforcement burdens that may inhibit economic recovery, provide guidance on what the law requires, recognize the efforts of regulated industries to comply with the law, and ensure fairness in administrative enforcement and adjudication. Perhaps most notably, the EO is written broadly enough that agencies may look beyond COVID-19-related impacts when considering how to implement the EO.
Continue Reading The President’s COVID-19 Executive Order Easing Regulatory Burdens
President Trump made good on one of his key campaign promises on Tuesday, signing an executive order (E.O.) entitled Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth. The long-awaited E.O., which was published in the Federal Register today (82 Fed. Reg. 16093), targets the Obama administration’s key climate policies, including regulations affecting power plants and oil and gas production facilities. More broadly, the E.O. affirms the Trump administration’s priority of ensuring domestically produced energy and economic growth.
Continue Reading President Trump’s Executive Order Prioritizing America’s Energy Independence Published in Federal Register
This week President Donald Trump issued an executive order (EO) making good on vows to reduce regulations coming out of Washington. The Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs sets two objectives — first, to eliminate two old regulations for every new one promulgated and, second, to impose a cap on the economic costs of regulations each year.
Continue Reading Trump’s One-Two Punch on Regulations
President Trump has already issued several executive memoranda directing federal agencies to expedite environmental reviews and approvals for all infrastructure projects (as noted in our post yesterday), with emphasis on high-priority matters, such as pipeline construction and an aim to boost steel manufacturing in the United States. Specifically, he seeks to renew and expedite the approval of two oil pipeline construction projects, the Keystone XL Pipeline (Keystone) and the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). He has further directed the Commerce Department to prepare a plan under which all new and repaired pipe used in the United States would be manufactured stateside.
Continue Reading Pipeline Projects are Front and Center in Administration’s First Days