President Biden Makes Early Moves to Impose New Federal Policy Directions

Following the inauguration as the 46th President of the United States, President Biden issued a series of executive orders and other policy directives to begin changing the direction of federal policy making by the executive branch.  In addition to rejoining the international Paris Agreement addressing climate change and canceling federal permits for the Keystone XL pipeline, the President also committed to withdrawing or reviewing several environmental and safety related federal policies including the following, which could impact CPA members:

Climate Change

  • Revisit U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) repeal of the Obama Clean Power Plan
  • Reinstatement of the use of the “Social Cost of Carbon” concept to compute the cost of climate change

Regulatory Processes

  • Freeze all federal rules finalized by the prior administration that have not been published in the Federal Register and/or taken effect
  • Repeal Trump’s regulatory reform Executive Orders, including “2 for 1” and requirement for federal agency regulatory budgets
  • Create a new Executive Order promoting federal government procurement of U.S. made products
  • Review of EPA rules on cost-benefit analysis for Clean Air rules and on science transparency
  • Review good guidance practices regulations of EPA and Department of Interior (DOI)
  • Create a new Presidential memo on science and evidence-based decision making in federal agencies
  • Re-establish Presidential Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

Air Regulation – Review the following rules:

  • Particulate matter National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS)
  • Ozone NAAQS
  • Risk Management Programs (RMP) under the Clean Air Act (CAA)
  • Start-up, Shutdown and Malfunction (SSM) guidance
  • Reclassification of Major to Minor Sources under the CAA (“Once-in, Always-in”)

Water Regulation – Review the following rule:

  • EPA/Army Corps of Engineers Navigable Waters Protection Rule/Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS)

Chemicals and Product Stewardship – Review the following rule:

  • EPA procedures for Chemical Risk Evaluation under the Toxic Substances Control Act

NEPA Regulation – Review the following rule:

  • White House Council of Environmental Quality, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reform rules


  • Create an emergency OSHA workplace safety standard on COVID-19
  • Implement a mask mandate for all federal facilities

Additional details will be shared in the coming weeks as the new administration’s plans take shape.  See The White House and Biden Regulatory Review List

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