AEMA to Participate in Rulemaking Panel in an Attempt to Bring Transparency and Fairness to Process

For Immediate Release: August 31, 2016

EPA FRUSTRATES SMALL BUSINESSES IN FINANCIAL ASSURANCE RULEMAKING

AEMA to Participate in Rulemaking Panel in an Attempt to Bring Transparency and Fairness to Process

The American Exploration & Mining Association (AEMA) will participate in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel as a Small Entity Representative (SER). The panel is set to convene a four-hour meeting August 31st and will focus on the Agency’s development of the CERLCA 108(b) rule that will duplicate, overlap and pre-empt federal land management agency and state financial assurance requirements that have been in effect for 25 years.

Notably, EPA has taken three months to provide the SERs some, but not all of the vital information on the proposed rule’s modeling, information sources and process despite repeated requests since June 6, 2016. Such information is essential to understand a rule that could have devastating effects on the small businesses represented.

“AEMA entered into this process in good faith, focused on providing an honest voice for small business. Unfortunately, EPA has failed to match us on that commitment to transparency, providing only a small portion of the requested information at the 11th hour, leaving SERs only two business days to review the limited information provided,” said Laura Skaer, AEMA Executive Director. “This proposed rule is simply too important and potentially fatal to small business to not give the rule thorough, thoughtful and critical examination.”

The panel includes federal representatives from the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and EPA. The panel members ask a selected group of SERs to provide advice and recommendations on behalf of their company or organization to inform the panel members about the potential impacts of the proposed rule on small entities. After meeting, the SBAR Panel will prepare a Panel Report with recommendations for EPA to incorporate in a proposed rule. It remains unclear whether EPA will incorporate the full SBAR comments prior to sending the rule to OMB.

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