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According to a preliminary plan released on May 26, EPA intends to review 31 rules under a broad range of environmental laws to determine if the regulations are duplicative, outdated, or overly burdensome. The regulatory review plan released by the White House Office of Management and Budget identified rules that will be reviewed in the short term, including an effort to clarify certain Clean Water Act permitting requirements, and longer-term actions such as a review of permitting under Title V of the Clean Air Act. EPA and 29 other federal departments and agencies will take immediate steps to revise outdated or overly burdensome rules, saving hundreds of millions of dollars annually. The regulatory reform effort is a result of President Obama's Executive Order No. 13563, issued January 18, 2011 which is an attempt at a fresh approach to regulation, and calls for all federal agencies to identify existing rules that are unnecessary or overly burdensome, and revise them as necessary.


EPA's preliminary plan listed 31 priority regulations for review; sixteen of these are “early actions,” which should be completed in 2011. Among these early actions is sanitary sewer overflow and peak flow wet weather discharges and clarifying permitting requirements. Long-Term Actions Identified:

  • consumer confidence reports for primary drinking water regulations: providing for the open exchange of information;
  • reporting requirements under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act: reducing burden;
  • water quality trading: improving approaches;
  • water quality standard regulations: simplifying and clarifying requirements;
  • state implementation plan process: reducing burden;
  • Clean Air Act Title V permit programs: simplifying and clarifying requirements;
  • national primary drinking water regulations for lead and copper: simplifying and clarifying requirements;
  • adjusting threshold planning quantities for solids in solution: reducing burden and relying on scientific objectivity; and
  • contaminants under the Safe Drinking Water Act: coordinating regulatory requirements.