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EPA’s Back-to-Basics agenda tames myriad Obama regulations

A Pennsylvania coal mine was the backdrop for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s early-April announcement of an agency agenda true to Trump administration objectives. “Back-to-Basics means returning EPA to its core mission: protecting the environment by engaging with state, local, and tribal partners to create sensible regulations that enhance economic growth,” he affirmed.

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Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt holds court at the CNX Coal Resources Harvey Mine. PHOTO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

In conjunction with the gathering at CNX Coal Resources’ Harvey Mine in Sycamore, Pa., EPA detailed recent or forthcoming agency actions supporting Back-to-Basics:

  • Launch of the Regulatory Reform Task Force to undergo extensive reviews of misaligned regulatory actions;
  • Four notices to review, revise or rescind major, economically significant, burdensome rules the last Administration issued—chief among them the so-called Clean Power Plan, which threatens 125,000-plus U.S. jobs;
  • Restoring states’ important role in the regulation of local waters through “Waters of the U.S.” rule review;
  • Helping states achieve high air quality targets, clean up toxic waste sites and improve America’s water infrastructure;
  • Allocating funds for vital environmental projects that go directly to the health of citizens, such as providing $100 million to upgrade the Flint, Mich., drinking water system; and,
  • Rescinding an evaluation of greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for model year 2022-2025 passenger vehicles plus tandem efforts with the Department of Transportation to conduct a collaborative and robust review of the standards.