President Donald Trump was formally inaugurated on January 20, and in one of his first official acts, issued an immediate regulatory freeze on all rules and regulations that have not yet been finalized or published in the Federal Register.
NACWA joined with the National Rural Water Association to host a watch event for the inauguration at the 101 Constitution Avenue building in Washington, DC, offering excellent views of Capitol Hill. The event provided an opportunity for NACWA to host stakeholders and friends from the Washington area, as well as congressional staff, and discuss key advocacy priorities for the new administration and new Congress.
The regulatory freeze, issued in a memo from White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, orders all federal agencies to delay finalizing any regulations until the new administration can review them, and to pull back any final regulations that have not yet been published in the Federal Register. This action is consistent with what previous administrations have done, including those of George W. Bush and Barrack Obama.
Rules of most interest to NACWA members that are impacted by this memo are the Dental Amalgam Rule and the Methods Update Rule, both of which were finalized by the Obama EPA, but have not yet been published in the Federal Register. Additional regulatory matters that have been proposed but not finalized and will likely be carefully reviewed by the Trump EPA include a proposed national nutrient survey and CSO reporting notification requirements for the Great Lakes. NACWA will be engaging with the new EPA leadership on all of these issues in the coming weeks, and potential areas of regulatory reform will be a key topic of discussion at committee meetings during the Association’s upcoming Winter Conference.