EPA Criticized for Skipping Small Business Advice on Rules – Bloomberg Law

by | Oct 31, 2022 | Business

Small businesses haven’t been consulted about some high-priority EPA rules as the law requires, leaving the rules more vulnerable to legal challenges, attorneys say.The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed at least five high-profile rules since June 2021 and certified that none warranted a consultation with small businesses and local government agencies. The consultation process is required before proposing regulations that are expected to have a “significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.”The Small Business Administration, trade associations, and attorneys are criticizing the agency’s decisions. Those protests prompted the EPA in one case to convene an advisory panel later.“Experience has shown that the panel process results in better rules, better compliance, and reduced litigation,” said Jefferey Longsworth, a partner with Barnes & Thornburg LLP who served on the panels. “I agree wholeheartedly.”Failing to convene such panels “leaves the rule vulnerable to being challenged in court if small business concerns are flagged and there’s evidence the [law] wasn’t properly addressed,” said Martha E. Marrapese, a partner with Wiley Rein LLP who specializes in chemical and biobased products regulations.The EPA said small business advisory panels provide valuable advice, but the regulations didn’t trigger the 1996 Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act’s (SBREFA) requirement for them.Pr …

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