EPA Refuses to Disclose Formula for Job Killing Rule to Small Business Panel

Today the American Exploration & Mining Association (AEMA) participated in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel as a Small Entity Representatives (SERs). The panel focused on the Agency’s development of the CERLCA 108(b) rule that duplicates, overlaps and preempts the current Hardrock Mining Financial Assurance.

The panel, required by law, convened to seek input from a selected group of SERs to provide input about the potential impacts of the proposed rule on small entities. 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.

Today the EPA told the panel they will not divulge the formula information before the rule is released December, 1st. The information requested by the SERs is essential to understanding the rule so the SERs can meet their obligation to provide meaningful input that has a true impact on the proposed rule.

“AEMA is disappointed by the EPA’s lack of transparency during this rulemaking process,” said Laura Skaer, AEMA Executive Director. “Today EPA refused to disclose their formula to calculate this job killing rule to the SERs. Furthermore, EPA indicated they are sending the rule to OMB for review weeks prior to the SBAR report.”

The Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service and individual states currently hold billions of dollars in financial assurance covering all of what EPA is proposing to cover in this duplicative rule. Western Governors Association and the Interstate Mining Compact Commission have both issued objections to the rule.