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EPA's Midnight Reg About Face Explained -- Sort Of

As ProPublica reported earlier today, the Environmental Protection Agency reversed course on two of its rules that had been in the works. But we were curious why the agency chose to abandon these two when there are still others in various stages of the rulemaking process.

EPA spokesman Jonathan Shradar told ProPublica the agency had tried to "squeak by," but finally realized they didn’t have enough time.

As for those still pending? As far as he is aware, the only "major" rule still up for consideration involves a proposal to not regulate perchlorate, a chemical component of rocket fuel, in our drinking water. Work continues with that rule, he said, and referred to language in the White House memo (PDF) on rulemaking that makes exceptions for "extraordinary circumstances" as justification. The memo had set a Nov. 1 deadline for publishing final rules in the Federal Register.

There are other last minute rules to be sure. ProPublica has had its eye on a number, including one easing rules for factory farms on reporting air pollution from animal waste and another on exempting certain industrial materials from hazardous waste management requirements so they can be converted into fuel.

To see these rules, as well as the others we are following, visit our Midnight Regulations chart.

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