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EPA and the Corps Set New Land Speed Record for Promulgating Regulations

Normally, it take many months from the time a rulemaking is public noticed until comments are received and then response to comments are issue with the final rule. If it's a big rulemaking with lots of comments, it can take well over a year. Just getting the notice or new rule in the Federal Register often takes in excess of a month. Not so any more.


Last week EPA released its prepublication version of the modification to the criminal mens rea standards for states in 402 and 404 state program authorizations. (See my blogpost from Friday for more on this.) Today, just three days after releasing the pre-publication version EPA published the changes in the Federal Register. By comparison, the 2020 WOTUS rule took several months between pre-publication release and publication in the F.R. Here's a link to the mens rea rule. Comments are due January 13, 2021. That gives EPA six days to write response to comments and publish the final rule before the end of the administration.

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/12/14/2020-26777/criminal-negligence-standard-for-state-clean-water-act-402-and-404-programs


EPA and the Corps are also fast-tracking Yazoo Pumps. EPA closed public comments on the draft EIS for the Yazoo Pumps on Nov. 30, and published the final EIS on Dec. 11, which is very fast, especially for a project of this size and complexity. If you look at the documents in the link below, most are dated Dec. 4, 2020, meaning the agency put together RTC in just a few days. This is a big, complex project, and the Corps devotes only about a page and a half to the non-EPA comments submitted. See https://cdxnodengn.epa.gov/cdx-enepa-II/public/action/eis/details?eisId=316671, Appendix E (note that this website shows public comments being due on t Jan. 13, 2021. This appears to be a mistake. EPA doesn't take public comments on a final EIS.)



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