EPA keeping quiet through election
This InsideEPA article argues that the EPA is likely to take a far more low-keyed approach to policy and regulations until after the November election. Having already released many of its most vigorous assaults on the coal and fossil fuels industry, the EPA has targeted future deadlines to arrive in late 2012 or 2013, after the election fervor dies down.
But when that election fervor does die down, industry should prepare itself for the next round of EPA’s train wreck.
As a result of such efforts, EPA faces no legal mandates to issue major rules between now and the elections, with several deadlines pegged for December, such as for a pending final fine particulate matter air quality standard and a final Portland cement rule package.
The agency is also expected not to finalize until after the election its proposal setting a first-time greenhouse gas (GHG) new source performance standard (NSPS) for new power plants despite winning a sweeping June 26 ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit broadly backing its GHG regulatory program. EPA maintains it has “no plans” to issue GHG standards for existing sources but could do so late this year, several sources say.
Also likely delayed until after the election: a proposed guidance for permitting hydraulic fracturing operations that use diesel fuel, final cooling water standards for power plants, “uniform” air toxics standards for chemical and other industrial plants, guidance for determining when isolated wetlands and other marginal waters are subject to regulation under the water law, the “Tier III” fuel and engine standards, and a long-delayed rule setting standards for disposal of coal ash.