On September 26, 2017, EPA announced its new Smart Sectors program, a program aimed at easing the regulatory burden on industry. The official notice for this program was published in the Federal Register on September 26th (82 FR 44783), with a correction published on September 29th (82 FR 45586). EPA explained the purpose behind the Smart Sectors program in the notice:
EPA’s Smart Sectors program will re-examine how EPA engages with industry in order to reduce unnecessary regulatory burden, create certainty and predictability, and improve the ability of both EPA and industry to conduct long-term regulatory planning while also protecting the environment and public health.
EPA has initially identified 13 sectors of industry to work with under this program, based on each sector’s potential to improve the environment and public health:
- Cement and concrete
- Chemical manufacturing
- Electronics and technology
- Forestry and paper products
- Iron and steel
- Oil and gas
- Ports and marine
- Utilities and power generation.
EPA will designate staff-level points of contact for each industry who will act as liaisons among industry trade associations and companies, EPA program and regional offices, state and local governments, and other stakeholder groups.
Under this program, EPA will focus on three main areas:
- Building relationships and improving customer service to sectors;
- Developing additional expertise in each industry’s operations and environmental performance; and
- Informing the planning of future policies, regulations, and Agency processes.
EPA is inviting participating industries to engage in dialogue and offer their own ideas to reduce environmental impacts. In addition, EPA will work to find creative ways to document environmental progress and regulatory burden reductions.