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Administrator Pruitt Proposes Rule to Provide Regulatory Certainty on Spill Prevention

WASHINGTON — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a proposed rule that, if finalized, would impose no new regulatory requirements under the Clean Water Act (CWA) section 311(j)(1)(C) authority for CWA hazardous substances discharges prevention. EPA is proposing to conclude that additional regulatory requirements for CWA hazardous substances are unnecessary and would impose undue burden on approximately 100,000 facilities in the U.S. already subject to the existing framework.

“After engaging the public and analyzing the best available data, EPA believes that additional regulatory requirements for hazardous substances discharges would be duplicative and unnecessary,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “If finalized, the proposed rule would give the regulated community the clarity and certainty they need to continue to uphold the law and ensure the nation’s waterways are protected."

After holding three public meetings – one in Charleston, West Virginia and two virtually – convening work groups, and collecting public comments, EPA is proposing to conclude that current requirements for hazardous substances discharges prevention are sufficiently protective of human health and the environment. Currently, EPA believes that analysis of these outreach efforts and data tallying the frequency and impact of reported discharges demonstrate that the existing framework prevents hazardous spills and other adverse outcomes.

EPA will consider all relevant comments received during a 60-day comment period following publication in the Federal Register.

Background:

This proposed action comports with a consent decree addressing a statutory requirement in CWA section 311(j)(1)(C) and provides an opportunity for public notice and comment on EPA’s proposed approach.

For more information on the proposed rule, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/rulemaking-preventing-hazardous-substance-spills.

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The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency or the EPA is to protect human health and the environment.

EPA's purpose is to ensure that:

  • all Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work;
  • national efforts to reduce environmental risk are based on the best available scientific information;
  • federal laws protecting human health and the environment are enforced fairly and effectively;
  • environmental protection is an integral consideration in U.S. policies...
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