Trump officials to unveil plan to cut factory rules this week

Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:32am EDT
 
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By David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration intends to unveil this week a plan to trim regulations it believes constrain U.S. manufacturing growth, potentially affecting environmental permits, worker safety and labor rules, an administration official said.

The U.S. Commerce Department's regulations "hit list" recommendations follow more than three months of study and consultation with industry on ways to streamline regulations and ease burdens on manufacturing firms.

A Trump administration official with knowledge of the recommendations to be sent to the White House said the Environmental Protection Agency's complex permitting rules will be a key focus, echoing comments to Reuters by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross last month.

The 171 public comments submitted by companies and industry groups offer a strong hint to priorities for Commerce's streamlining efforts, with numerous industry groups and firms complaining that EPA air quality permit rules for new facilities are often redundant.

The report will analyze the submissions and "will identify a lot of problems and lay out ways to take responsible actions," said the official, who declined to be identified by name. The process has looked at many regulations finalized under Trump's predecessor, President Barack Obama.

A common demand from industry was that the Trump administration should reject a planned tightening of ozone rules under the U.S. Clean Air Act's National Ambient Air Quality Standards, with several groups arguing this would expose them to increased permitting hurdles for new facilities, raising costs.

3M Co (MMM.N: Quote) said other permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act contained "overlapping rules, redundant requirements, conflicts between rules and undue complexity."

The National Association of Manufacturers said the EPA's review requirements for new sources of emissions such as factories can add $100,000 in costs for modeling air quality to a new facility and delay factory expansions by 18 months.   Continued...

 
U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, U.S., before traveling to Bedminister, New Jersey for the weekend, June 9, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas