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The White House on May 26 released preliminary regulatory review plans from 30 federal agencies detailing steps they will take to examine and, if necessary, modify or eliminate existing regulations.
The plans were released in response to President Obama’s Executive Order No. 13,563, which gave agencies 120 days to submit to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs a preliminary plan describing how they would periodically review their existing regulations.
The executive order requires rules to be reviewed to determine whether they should be “modified, expanded, streamlined or repealed” to make them “more effective or less burdensome” in achieving their objectives.
Among the responses from the agencies:
- The Environmental Protection Agency said in its review plan that nearly 60% of the 200 regulations under review in its soon-to-be-published “Spring 2011 Semiannual Regulatory Agenda” will be existing rules.
Responding to concerns of both environmentalists and NAHB, the new proposal for clearance testing under the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule is listed as one of the agency’s top regulatory priorities.
- The Interior Department said in its review plan that it will review existing rules to improve the Endangered Species Act regulatory process.
Included is a commitment by the Department of the Interior to issue a revised regulatory definition of an “adverse modification” to the habitat of a species.
There is also a broadly worded commitment to revise the Section 7 consultation process and reform the process the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service follow to designate critical habitat.
- The Energy Department said in its review plan that it will propose to defer compliance with a new energy efficiency rule for 18 months in response to industry concerns, improve computer modeling to reduce testing burdens and issue a final rule to update its categorical exclusions under the National Environmental Policy Act.
Many of the issues NAHB has consistently raised with the regulatory agencies have been identified as part of the White House’s regulatory review process.
It is unclear, however, the extent to which the review process will improve regulations and make them less burdensome.