EPA Announces Streamlining of Rules as Part of Regulatory Reinvention Effort

[EPA press release - August 2, 1995]

Building on President Clinton's effort to reinvent environmental regulation, EPA today announced that the Agency will delete 11 percent of existing, obsolete pages of regulations and further revise another 70 percent of EPA's parts of the Code of Federal Regulations to help businesses achieve environmental protection goals faster and at less cost. The changes are the result of a comprehensive, government-wide review of all Federal regulations ordered by President Clinton, and they significantly reduce the regulatory burden on businesses without sacrificing public health and environmental protection.

"These common sense changes to the environmental rule book will eliminate unnecessary requirements," said EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner. "We are making it easier for businesses to operate in ways that are cleaner, cheaper and smarter."

Highlights of the changes resulting from the review include:

Time savings from reduced paperwork:

Nationwide, streamlining as a result of the environmental regulatory review is expected to help businesses regain the use of more than two million hours per year previously spent on regulatory paperwork. For example, the review resulted in an exemption from all regulation--thus eliminating related paperwork, costs and time--for certain low-risk pesticides, specifically products with other uses that are only regulated as pesticides because that is one of their intended uses. This action is the first step toward EPA's goal of reducing regulatory paperwork by 25 percent.

Cost savings resulting from streamlined regulations:

By making it easier for businesses to comply with environmental regulations, EPA will help companies nationwide save more than $5 billion while still ensuring environmental protection. For example, the review resulted in streamlined industrial and municipal permit applications to limit discharge of pollutants into waterways, saving time, paperwork and unnecessary administrative burden. The streamlined applications will provide information needed to protect the environment while saving $23 million for industries and cities.

Fewer rules that are more flexible and results-oriented:

EPA has deleted more than 1,400 pages of existing regulations that were obsolete, and will revise another 70 percent of the 306 parts of the Code of Federal Regulations that are EPA's responsibility, with the goal of adding flexibility to help businesses to find cheaper ways to provide cleaner results. For example, the review resulted in the elimination of overlapping EPA and FDA regulations for low-risk sterilants, so that only one agency--FDA--has jurisdiction. For auto repair shop owners, the review is expected to result in more flexibility in how they remove auto air conditioning refrigerants, providing options that are more economical and convenient. The repair shops can tailor the process to meet their needs while still helping to protect stratospheric ozone from depletion.

Senior management of EPA including the Administrator, Deputy Administrator, Assistant Administrators and Regional Administrators have held many meetings with stakeholders from every state to seek ideas for regulatory reinvention initiatives. Administrator Browner submitted a report on June 15 to President Clinton which contains many other examples of partnership activities and reforms resulting from the review.