The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed at least five high-profile rules since June 2021 and certified that none warranted a consultation with small businesses and local government agencies. The consultation process is required before proposing regulations that are expected to have a “significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.”
Stuart Shapiro, a former OMB official and now interim dean of Rutgers University’s School of Planning and Public Policy, said the panels are valuable, but one-sided.
The EPA has gained practical insights from businesses “that know what they’re doing and how the rule will affect them,” he said. “Numerous times it’s made a difference in what’s proposed.”
On the other hand, it “gives a privileged seat at the table to one particular sector. You don’t have labor unions whose members might be affected getting this bite at the apple,” he said. “You don’t have people who might breathe the air or drink the water.”