environmental-protection-683437_960_720The United State House of Representatives, on February 3, 2017, introduced H.R. 861 – To terminate the Environmental Protection Agency. If passed, the EPA shall be terminated on December 31, 2018.

If the EPA is dismantled, one possible outcome may be that the powers are delegated to the states. This could mean that manufacturers and importers would have to comply with multiple types and degrees of legislation that may be enacted across the country.

The passage of H.R. 861 would require amendments to any piece of legislation that has been a product of the EPA, as well as any law that has delegated powers and/or responsibilities to the EPA.

As opposed to terminating the EPA, a different path that may be taken is for Congress to pass S. 21 – Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2017. The bill states that a major rule (one which would cost more than $100 million) set forth by a federal agency will not be enacted unless Congress approves the rule by enacting a joint resolution. Also, Congress would have to vote for its passage within 70 days of its publication. This would limit the regulatory power of the EPA — and all federal agencies.

An example of a final rule implemented by the EPA that is relevant to the consumer products industry is that which limits emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from consumer products. This rule is part of the Clean Air Act. If S. 21 passes, any proposed EPA rule that is fundamentally similar to this type of rule would be under the scrutiny of Congress. H.R. 861: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/861/textREINS Act bill: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/21

Compliance & Risks will host a webinar on ‘Brexit & Trump: What They Mean for Environmental Regulatory Compliance’ with experts from both sides of the Atlantic providing an overview of key issues and a giving their opinions on that state of play, what the key compliance issues are and what’s next?