Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Congressmen call on EPA to extend public comment period on proposed regulations

Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY)
U.S. Reps. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Doug Lamborn (R-CO) sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy and Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Sally Jewell this week requesting a longer public comment period for regulations proposed on Sept. 18.

Whitfield, who is chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Power, and Lamborn, chairman of the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee, said that a short extension, from Nov. 17 to Dec. 4, should be supplanted by a full 60-day extension to Jan. 17.

"This extension, which includes the Thanksgiving holiday, is inadequate for sufficient public review and comment, given the length and complexity of the proposed EPA regulations, guidelines and related documentation, and other ongoing related regulatory actions,” the letter said. “We believe additional time is necessary to provide the public sufficient time to review and comment on the Administration’s interrelated proposals.”

The representatives also supported their extension request with claims that an anticipated regulation on methane for the oil and gas sector from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will impact the public’s evaluation of the EPA’s proposed rules and guidelines.

“We note specifically that the methane regulations expected to be proposed by the BLM have the potential to propose requirements that are conflicting or duplicative, and to create significant uncertainty for future operations in the oil and gas sector,” the letter said. "To the extent the BLM moves forward with proposed methane rules, the comment period for these EPA proposed rules and guidelines should also be further extended or reopened to allow the public with at least 30 days to review the EPA and BLM regulations concurrently.”


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