Twice a year, federal agencies publicly list their anticipated regulatory actions for the near- and long-term. Known as the Spring 2021 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, the extensive listing covers agencies from the EPA and OSHA to the Peace Corps and Railroad Retirement Commission. For industry, the Unified Agenda provides us insights into what the government has in store for you.
Ahead of the July 4th weekend, a bipartisan group of Senate negotiators formed 11 working groups and began in earnest to craft legislative language for their infrastructure bill to spend $974 billion over five years ($1.2 trillion over eight years). A group of 20 Senators – 10 from each party – announced an agreement with President Biden on top-line spending numbers for a bill and must now craft legal language for priorities from water and power to permitting and ports. This is a long process far from close to done because liberal Senators may not vote for the agreement if it reaches the floor, where it would require 60 votes under the current process.
The U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this week will move a bill spending $547 billion over five years on surface transportation including rail and public transit and another $50 billion measure focused on wastewater infrastructure. The highway bill as it is known has no Republican supporters; the water bill has two.
On May 13, the Biden EPA rescinded yet another rule issued by the Trump administration that will lay the groundwork for them to further regulate manufacturers, utilities and other businesses that generate emissions under the Clean Air Act (CAA).
Congressional Republicans and the White House are starting to talk about what each side can live with as part of an infrastructure package. As a glass-half-empty person, I tend to look at what each side cannot live with and look for those deal breakers.
On April 13, the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC), a multistate organization created under the Clean Air Act to advise the EPA on the ground-level ozone, held a hearing that could lead to stricter regulations of industrial boilers, cement kilns, tank farms and non-stationary sources such as trucks and engines.
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