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Report: EPA Delays Risk Management Rule by Nearly 2 Years

The Environmental Protection Agency reportedly plans to give chemical manufacturers an additional 20 months to comply with new risk management requirements.

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The Environmental Protection Agency reportedly plans to give chemical manufacturers an additional 20 months to comply with new risk management requirements.

Bloomberg reports that the EPA will postpone the effective date of the new rule — already pushed back from the original March 21 date — from June 19 to February 2019.

The agency said the additional months would be used to evaluate "petitions for reconsideration" and potential changes to the rule.

The rule, proposed under the Obama administration early last year, would require chemical plants to consider safer alternatives as part of their risk management planning process. It would also increase the amount of information available to the public, improve coordination between facilities and local officials and require audits and analyses to identify potential improvements.

Industry groups, however, expressed concerns that the requirements would increase costs, reveal sensitive company information and ultimately "compromise the security of our facilities, emergency responders and our communities."

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told Bloomberg that the agency hoped to "prevent regulation created for the sake of regulation by the previous administration.”

Pruitt came under fire during his confirmation process for not sharing specifics of his opposition to the rule while he served as Oklahoma's attorney general. Bloomberg also noted that the decision is one of several administrative delays at the EPA to prompt criticism from Democrats.

The risk management rule could also be struck down under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to reject newly passed federal regulations without the threat of a filibuster in the Senate.

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