On Thursday, December 30, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule rescinding a Trump-era rule that changed EPA procedures for on-site inspections. The Trump-era inspection rule converted EPA civil inspection practices into rules that must be applied in all civil inspections. The December 30 recission “restor[es] the flexibility needed when carrying out civil inspections under a myriad of circumstances” by allowing inspectors to respond to site-specific conditions on a case-by-case basis.
EPA’s recission of the civil inspection rule effectuates an executive order issued by President Joe Biden on his first day in office. In the executive order, Biden called the Trump-era orders that called for the inspection rule “harmful policies and directives that threaten to frustrate the Federal Government’s ability to confront these problems, and empowers agencies to use appropriate regulatory tools to achieve these goals.”
The rule is effective immediately.
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