Summer is Here, and With it Another Missed Deadline for a Key Regulation

by Ben Somberg

June 22, 2012

The EPA has quietly missed another deadline on issuing the final revised “boiler MACT” rule. The agency had pledged for many months that the rule would be finalized in April. Then, in an April 30th “status report” filing with the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, the agency said: “EPA intends to take final action on this proposed rule in the Spring of 2012.” Wednesday was the first official day of summer.

The revised version of the rule will provide less pollution reduction than the original version, but is still expected to prevent thousands of deaths each year. James Pew, of Earthjustice, told E&E News last week that the rule has been made “illegally weak.”

The rule has been under review at OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) since May 17. OIRA Administrator Cass Sunstein wrote in a Chicago Tribune op-ed in March that this administration believes in “maximizing net benefits.”

Michael Livermore, of the Institute for Policy Integrity, has argued that “in order to maximize net benefits and get the most bang for taxpayers’ buck, standards from [the 2010 proposal] would have to be more stringent, not less.”

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