On the heels of the major climate and energy bill being signed into law in August 2022, the EPA recently sent to the White House for their formal review several major environmental regulations prior to their publications. Among those rules under review include the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Particulate Matter (PM), where the EPA says that “information indicates that the current standards may not be adequate to protect public health and welfare, as required by the Clean Air Act.”

If a county is in a non-attainment zone under NAAQS, EPA requires that state to develop a plan on how to lower emissions, which can lead to restricted economic activity. Also pending release is a notice of proposed rulemaking requiring Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) disclosure of greenhouse-gas emissions and climate-related financial risk for government contractors working with the Defense Department, General Services Administration or NASA. A supplemental proposed rule due in October sets tighter standards for the oil-and-gas sector. Each one of these taken on their own are a major change for industry; taken together, these proposed regulatory actions mark a significant move by the EPA that all businesses should watch.