EPA Ordered to Streamline Clean Air Act Implementation

In a presidential memorandum issued on April 12, 2018 President Trump directed EPA to streamline the permitting process and review the process for setting National Ambient Air Quality Standards. EPA is directed to aim to take final actions on preconstruction permit applications within one year of receipt of the application. If a state is the direct permitting authority, EPA is to provide prompt technical support, reviews, and determinations in order to assist states in issuing preconstruction permits.

EPA is also directed to take final action on State Implementation Plans within 18 months. For future NAAQS reviews, EPA should review the current NAAQS process and develop criteria to ensure transparency in the evaluation, assessment, and characterization of scientific evidence and develop clear guidance for differentiating the role of science and policy considerations. EPA must also consider a state’s ability to meet and attain NAAQS that may be affected by international transport of criteria pollutants. Regarding Regional Haze Plans, EPA must review all Federal Implementation Plans and develop options, at the request of states, to replace FIPs with SIPs.

The memorandum does require EPA to comply with the Clean Air Act when implementing the orders.