Are ‘Small’ Policy Adjustments a Way to Make Bigger Environmental Law Changes Later?On August 1, 2018 by Schnader
Robert L. Collings published “Are ‘Small’ Policy Adjustments a Way to Make Bigger Environmental Law Changes Later?” as the lead story in the Energy and Environmental Law Supplement of The Legal Intelligencer. Collings is co-chair of Schnader’s Energy & Environmental Practice Group and co-chair of the Sustainability and Environmental Services Practice Group.
“President Donald Trump has declared it his goal to reduce the number of rules and the impact of the federal regulatory system, especially the EPA’s rules. His EPA administrator fervently embraces those goals. . . . The efforts of [the] EPA to terminate major programs have often ended in major failures in court. Other efforts, such as slowing down regulatory responses to emerging contaminant problems, or reducing the numerical precision required in effluent or emission compliance reports, could allow reductions in compliance with prior environmental standards and may be less open to judicial review. On the other hand, operating under such policies may create uncertainty for regulated companies and lead them to become enforcement ‘guinea pigs’ in future citizen suits with dire business consequences. This article will examine these fast-moving and high stakes developments.”