Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs

The Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs Division develops, implements, and advocates U.S. Chamber policy on issue areas of vital importance to the business community: environment, energy, natural resources, food safety, biotechnology, agriculture, technology, and regulatory processes.

Latest Reports

Sue and Settle Updated: Damage Done 2013-2016
May 2017

Sue and Settle Updated: Damage Done 2013-2016 updates the Chamber’s 2013 report, Sue and Settle: Regulating Behind Closed Doors. The study found that EPA increased its use of sue and settle agreements under the Clean Air Act since the last report. 

The EPA entered into 77 Clean Air Act consent decrees between 2013-2016 compared to 60 between 2009-2012. The sue and settle tactic allowed activist groups without meaningful public participation to reprioritize agency agendas and resources which in turn led to rules costing the economy billions of dollars annually.

Additionally, sue and settle agreements have increasingly been the root of federal rules that encroach on state and local level environmental decision making.

Taming the Administrative State: Identifying Regulations That Impact Jobs and the Economy
March 2017

This new study seeks to inform policymakers and the public about the number and type of regulations that impose the greatest impact on the business community, consumers, and ultimately the U.S. economy. 

The analysis, which examined federal rules finalized from 2008-2016, found that only 140 regulations out of more than 32,000 had costs exceeding $100 million.  Also, it found an even smaller number of 28 “high-impact rules” or regulations that each cost more than $1 billion annually. 

The report identifies the most costly and transformative regulations so that Congress and federal agencies are better able to develop a process that will ensure future regulations achieve congressional intent and avoid agency overreach.

 

Read more ETRA Reports

Recent Activity

CommentMay 21, 2018 - 4:30pm

Comments on Clean Water Act Coverage of “Discharges of Pollutants” via a Direct Hydrologic Connection to Surface Water

For the reasons set forth herein, we believe it is critically important that EPA engage in notice-and-comment rulemaking to clarify that the CWA does not regulate discharges that reach surface waters via groundwater...

LetterMar 14, 2018 - 2:15pm

Hill Letter to House Oversight Committee Supporting H.R. 50, the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act

Dear Chairman Gowdy and Ranking Member Cummings: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports H.R. 50, the “Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2017.”

CommentMar 12, 2018 - 4:15pm

Multi-Association Comments to USACE on Proposed Guidelines for Establishment of New Mitigation Banks in Fort Worth District

TO: Mr. Brent JasperRegulatory Project Manager/Mitigation Banking CoordinatorRegulatory Branch, CESWF-DE-RU.S. Army Corps of EngineersP.O. Box 17300Fort Worth, TX 76102-0300 Ms. Jennifer MoyerChief, Regulatory ProgramHeadquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers441 G Street, N.W.Washington, D.C. 20314-1000

ReportMar 06, 2018 - 3:30pm

Sue and Settle: Regulating Behind Closed Doors

"Sue and Settle" refers to when a federal agency agrees to a settlement agreement, in a lawsuit from special interest groups, to create priorities and rules outside of the normal rulemaking process. The agency intentionally relinquishes statutory discretion by committing to timelines and priorities that often realign agency duties. These settlement agreements are negotiated behind closed doors with no participation from the public or affected parties.

CommentFeb 26, 2018 - 6:15pm

Multi-Association Comments to EPA on ANPR on State Guidelines for GHG Emissions from Existing Electric Generating Units

TO: The Honorable E. Scott PruittAdministratorU.S. Environmental Protection AgencyAttention Docket ID No. EPA- HQ-OAR-2017-0545EPA Docket Center, U.S. EPA, Mailcode: 28221T1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NWWashington, DC 20460

Issue BriefFeb 15, 2018 - 9:45am

Regulatory Reform Tracker

SummaryThe U.S.

CommentJan 25, 2018 - 10:00am

Comments to EPA on Approaches for Identifying Potential Candidates for Prioritization for Existing Chemicals Risk Evaluation under Amended TSCA

VIA ELECTRONIC FILINGTO: The Honorable E. Scott PruittAdministratorU.S. Environmental Protection Agency1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NWWashington, D.C. 20460

CommentJan 19, 2018 - 3:45pm

Comments to EPA on New Chemicals Review Program under the Amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

VIA ELECTRONIC FILINGTO: The Honorable E. Scott PruittAdministratorU.S. Environmental Protection Agency1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NWWashington, D.C. 20460

Above the FoldDec 18, 2017 - 12:30pm
Bloomberg Photo Donald Trump Deregulatory Event

The Trump Administration’s Historic Year in Deregulation

One chart proves that the Trump administration's deregulatory actions stand out by historical standards.