EPA's Final Push
The Office of Regulatory Affairs publishes what is known as the "unified agenda" of the various federal agencies. Today's agenda for EPA shows several CWA-related regulatory efforts by the Trump administration as it heads for the exit lobby. See link below, pp. 6-9. The descriptions of the proposed rules, by their nature, reveal little, but one can see that the administration is proposing some potentially important changes to the existing rules. Here's a brief summary:
POTWs with SSO will get new rules for peak flows
Incidental discharges from ships - national performance standards
Updating the old 404(g) assumption regs to "reduce barriers to assumption."
Water Quality Trading regs. EPA "strongly supports market-based mechanisms. . . "
401 cert. - this proposed rule is already out
Maui guidance - see my previous blogpost.
All of these are potentially interesting and should be watched. It will be fascinating to see what they're doing with water quality trading. I worked on that issue quite a bit when I was at EPA, and it's a very tough nut to crack given the statutory limitations in the CWA.
Make sure you submit public comments on any of these last-minute rulemakings you care about. It's important to build a robust public record on these proposed changes, even if the administration is about to change.
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