In the first two weeks of April 2023, which comprised all of 10 business days, federal regulators finalized 132 new rules and proposed another 112. These actions and other notices from government agencies added up to 3,773 pages in the Federal Register, bringing the 2023 total to 23,284 pages. Of those, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accounted for nine rules, 12 proposed rules and 39 notices … I did not count the pages. And these are just the formal actions. We also saw the EPA, Treasury and others in the Biden administration make significant announcements about their climate agenda.

On April 12, the EPA announced a proposed standard to require 67% of new cars and trucks sold in 2032 to have zero emissions. Also in the first two weeks of April, the Treasury Department released its guidance on the new clean-vehicle credit for the full $7,500 and the partial-battery components $3,750 credit. The rules will make only 14 passenger vehicle models eligible for the full credit, though some are calling it a “big win” for the Detroit Big Three, plus Tesla.

Separately, the EPA announced the proposed regulation of seven PFAS, seeking input on a potential future hazardous-substance designation; announced it would move to strengthen and update the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) for coal-fired power plants; and released a draft regulation targeting over 200 chemical plants emitting ethylene oxide, many of which manufacture synthetic organic chemicals, polymers and resins used to produce rubber and other goods.

The EPA has had a busy April 2023, and that was just the first two weeks.