A 21st Century Regulatory System
Last January, President Obama called on all federal agencies to examine the rules and regulations they have on the books. This directive — aimed at removing or modernizing outdated regulations that could hinder job creation while maintaining the protections that American families and consumers want and deserve — was something EPA took on in earnest.
EPA is committed to improving regulations based on an open exchange of views from the public and the best available scientific evidence. President Obama’s regulatory strategy marks a commonsense approach for EPA to carry out its mission in a way that encourages economic growth, job creation and innovation.
Here are just a few examples of how EPA is working to fuse scientifically-driven regulations with approaches that are flexible, cost-effective, and reduce burdens for American businesses and consumers.
· Saving Money for Dairy Farmers: A regulation written to help prevent oil spills was so broad that milk and dairy farmers — not just oil and gas companies — were covered by its requirements. After collaborating with the dairy industry, EPA took steps to exempt milk and dairy containers from oil spill regulation, ensuring that we are not treating spilled milk like spilled oil, and saving dairy farmers more than $140 million each year.
· Eliminating Redundant Regulations: When American drivers refuel their cars, vapors from the gas pump have the potential to release harmful emissions into the air. In the past, EPA has required gas stations to incorporate vapor controls on their pumps, but today’s generation of vehicles already contain the technology for vapor recovery on the vehicle itself. The requirement for gas pumps has become redundant. In summer 2011, EPA expects to eliminate this mandate on gas station owners, providing cost savings of about $67 million every year.
· Encouraging Alternative Fuels: EPA has eased the process for consumers to make the switch to alternative fuels by simplifying the approval process for manufacturers that make fuel-conversion systems. The new process reduces some economic and procedural hurdles, while also keeping the safeguards that ensure converted vehicles will maintain acceptable emission levels. Previously, a compliance certification cost more than $44,000. After EPA’s regulatory review, the estimated cost would be under $37,000 for new, light-duty engines and less than $14,000 for intermediate-age and older, light-duty engines. For heavy duty engines, we expect the cost savings to be even greater.
These examples illustrate just some of the ways EPA is applying rules and regulations in a commonsense way so that we can spur economic growth, job creation and innovation. To find out more about what EPA and other federal agencies are doing to review regulations and improve the safeguards we implement, visit the White House’s Regulatory Reform Resource page.
EPA will continue to be guided by President Obama’s direction to create a 21st century regulatory system – one that encourages innovation and economic investment while protecting our health and the environment.