Regulatory Outlook: Federal Agencies Take Steps on Key Environmental Issues

Federal agencies recently have initiated action on several key environmental issues of importance to AGC of America’s contractor members from the Waters of the United States rulemaking to proposed new lead-dust standards and re-evaluating the procedural elements of the National Environmental Policy Act.  In May, AGC provided members with an advanced notice of these anticipated actions based on the Federal Government’s Spring Unified Agenda.  This summer, AGC will be preparing written responses to the agencies as necessary on the five issues below.

Council on Environmental Quality

Environmental Protection Agency

  • Repeal and replace the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule; EPA anticipates finalizing the repeal by November 2018, releasing the proposed replacement rule by August 2018 and finalizing that rule approximately a year later in 2019 (with the Army Corps of Engineers).  On June 29, 2018, EPA announced the release of a supplemental proposal to its July 2017 proposed rule to withdraw (repeal) the 2015 WOTUS rule—clarifying some of the questions that had arisen following the 2017 proposal.  Comments on the supplemental proposal will be due 30 days following publication in the Federal Register.  To comment, go to and search for the Docket No. EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0203. 
  • On June 15, 2018, Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a proposed action to establish no additional regulatory requirements under the Clean Water Act (CWA) section 311(j)(1)(C) authority for CWA hazardous substances (HS) discharge prevention. Based on an analysis of the frequency and impacts of reported CWA HS discharges and the existing framework of regulatory requirements, EPA is not proposing additional regulatory requirements at this time. Comments are due August 24, 2018.  To comment, go to and search for the Docket No. EPA-HQ-OLEM-2018-0024.
  • On June 22, 2018, EPA announced proposed changes to the residential dust-lead hazard standards and the definition of lead-based paint.  EPA proposes to change the dust-lead hazard standards from 40 µg/ft2 and 250 µg/ft2 to 10 µg/ft2 and 100 µg/ft2 on floors and window sills, respectively. These standards apply to most pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities, such as day care centers and kindergarten facilities. In addition, EPA is proposing to make no change to the definition of lead-based paint because the Agency currently lacks sufficient information to support such a change.  Comments are due August 16, 2018.  To comment, go to and search for the Docket No. EPA-HQ-OPPT-2018-0166.
  • On June 13, 2018, EPA announced an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking to "Increase Consistency and Transparency in Considering Costs and Benefits in the Rulemaking Process."  The comment deadline was recently extended to August 13, 2018.  To comment, go to and search for the Docket No. EPA-HQ-OA-2018-0107.

For more information, contact Melinda Tomaino at

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