Regulatory Freeze

On January 20, 2021 the Biden Administration issued a Regulatory Freeze to allow for the following:

  1. Withdrawal of any regulation that has been sent to the government printing office for publication in the Federal Register, but has not yet been published in the Federal Register.  This would include two recent drinking water actions from EPA: (1) the proposed UCMR5 and the (2) the final Regulatory Determination that included a decision to regulate PFOA and PFOS (and not regulate 1,1-dichloroethane, acetochlor, methyl bromide (bromomethane), metolachlor, nitrobenzene, and RDX).  The Regulatory Freeze memo states regulations are withdrawn “until a department or agency head appointed or designated by the President after noon on January 20, 2021, reviews and approves the rule.”
  2. For any regulation published in the Federal Register within the previous 60 days that has not yet taken effect – consider postponing the rule’s effective dates for 60 days to allow for review.   And consider opening up the regulation for additional public comment.  The Regulatory Freeze memo allows for an extension of the 60-day delay.  This could include the final Revised Lead and Copper Rule (published on January 15, 2021 in the Federal Register with an effective date of March 16, 2021).
  3. Note – the Regulatory Freeze memo also states the following “Exclude from the[se] actions….any rules subject to statutory or judicial deadlines….”  It is not known if this statement will be applied to the proposed UCMR5 and the final Regulatory Determination.

WQTS will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.

Link to the Regulatory Freeze memo from President Biden’s Chief of Staff:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/regulatory-freeze-pending-review/

Link to article in the The Hill:

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/535106-biden-freeze-of-trump-rules-could-halt-environmental-rollbacks

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About Dan Askenaizer

Dr. Askenaizer leads WQTS’ work on regulatory compliance support for many of our water agencies clients. Dr. Askenaizer tracks water quality and treatment regulations at the Federal and State levels and provides regulatory updates to our clients. Dr. Askenaizer has strong expertise in the development of Regulatory Monitoring and Compliance Plans (RMCPs), which he has completed for a number of water agencies. He has also been working on a number of projects dealing with the development of distribution system monitoring plans and review of nitrification control strategies. Prior to joining WQTS, Dr. Askenaizer was the Water Quality Manager for the Glendale Water and Power. Under his leadership, the Water Quality Group conducted a demonstration-scale study of chlorite for nitrification control and a pilot-scale study of biological treatment for removal of nitrate. Dan has 30 years of experience working on projects dealing with regulatory, water quality and public health issues. Dan has given numerous presentations at workshops and round-tables across the country for water utilities. Dan was instrumental in developing and implementing a Mentoring Program for water staff and was involved in a Sustainable Development team.