Trump administration receives 168 comments on ways to cut regulations

Kerry Clines

April 20, 2017

Photo: Matt H. Wade / Wikipedia)

When the Trump administration asked for recommendations on ways the government could cut regulations and make it easier for companies to get their projects approved, the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) responded, along with 167 others. According to the Washington Post, three senior administration officials from different departments say that the White House is inclined to accept many of the suggestions.

Some of the most notable comments include the following:

  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants to reduce the amount of time opponents have to challenge federal approval of projects from six years to two years.
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also wants to get rid of a requirement that employers report their injury and illness records electronically to the Labor Department so they can be posted “on the internet for anyone to see.”
  • The Associated General Contractors of America recommended repealing 11 of President Obama’s executive orders and memorandums, including one establishing paid sick leave for government contractors.
  • The Pavement Coatings Technology Council wants to stop the U.S. Geological Survey from conducting what the group says is “advocacy research” into the environmental impact of coal tar, which it says could limit what it uses to seal parking lots and driveways.

According to the news agency, Neil Bradley gave an interview where he said that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has led the government in issuing “high-cost, high-impact regulations” that harmed businesses, and that the Chamber estimated that rules issued under Obama would cost businesses more than $70 billion annually. “Now we have an administration who’s interested” in streamlining federal approvals and rules, he added, and is providing relief “from a regulatory onslaught that occurred, principally, during the prior administration.”

The NSSGA provided comments on regulations from the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the EPA, including the controversial Waters of the United States rule. “It’s encouraging to see clear and overwhelming support for clearing up the cluttered regulatory morass,” says Emily Coyner, NSSGA director of environmental services, in a press release. “We take every opportunity to talk to this administration about the value of aggregates and the negative impact of excessive regulation as our country focuses on fixing our crumbling infrastructure.”

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Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who is scheduled to submit his report on stimulating domestic manufacturing toward the end of May, told the news agency “This is the first time any administration has canvassed the private sector to find the worst regulatory and permitting problems, and it is axiomatic that you can’t solve a problem until you have identified it.” He added that officials were “refining their recommendations” now “to take responsible action. We look forward to working further with American workers and businesses, in manufacturing and other sectors, to unshackle the innovative spirit that made this country great.”

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