PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Advocacy Tells EPA: Go Back to the Drawing Board on “Waters” Regulation

By at 9 October, 2014, 4:40 pm

By Karen Kerrigan-

EPA's proposed "waters of the U.S" regulation seeks to expand federal government control over bodies of water across the country.  The proposed regulation will have vast impact, but the EPA failed to review the impact of the regulation on small businesses as required by law.

EPA’s proposed “waters of the U.S” regulation seeks to expand federal government control over bodies of water across the country. The proposed regulation will have vast economic consequences, but the EPA failed to review the rule’s impact on small businesses as required by law.

As SBE Council has pointed out in our communications and advocacy work, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) move to expand its authority over almost all bodies of water in the U.S. is an unnecessary and massive overreach.  The economic impact for small businesses, states and communities is sizable, yet the EPA continues to press on with this controversial rulemaking.

The U.S. House passed bipartisan legislation in early September to stop the EPA from advancing the rulemaking (see SBE Council’s statement here).

Now, the SBA’s Office of Advocacy is weighing in. The office recently urged that the regulation be withdrawn.  In a comment letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) and the EPA on the proposed regulation, the Office of Advocacy asserts that EPA and the Corps “have improperly certified the proposed rule under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) because it would have direct, significant effects on small businesses. Advocacy recommends that the agencies withdraw the rule and that the EPA conduct a Small Business Advocacy Review panel before proceeding any further with this rulemaking.”

SBE Council applauds the Office of Advocacy for stepping up on this critical rulemaking as the EPA has excluded the voice of small businesses and small entities in the regulatory process. The proposed regulation will have far-reaching impact on many types of small businesses, and the economic well being of communities.

The EPA recently announced that it is extending (again) its comment period for the proposed rule. Instead, the EPA must end this unwieldy regulatory initiative.

Karen Kerrigan is President & CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

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