Where Did All The Environmental Protection Agency Rules Go?

The Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations has always been squishy and has never bound agencies to issue solely the rules contained within; but the decline in EPA rules in the Unified Agenda between 2011 and 2012 indicates a scrub of some sort before the tardy document was finally released.

Overall, the Agenda contains 4,062 across all the depts and agencies at the active, completed, and long-term stage. This is slightly down from the year before, but it doesn’t seem genuine; the Agenda should be bigger given the far higher number of EPA rules in the past decade.

Just look at EPA over the past couple years:

Year Total Active Completed Long-term
2012 223 117 71 35
2011 318 175 82 61

Where did all the rules go? Liberalization and deciding not to regulate has not been an Obama administration priority. EPA rules have never been lower than 2011’s 318 in the past decade. It seems we’re getting only part of the story and Congress should take a look. EPA omits any narrative on its Regulatory Plan on its homepage, unlike previous years.

A narrative does appear on a separate webpage — and is dated December 24, 2012, later even than the overall federal Unified Agenda of which this material should have been a component, and too late for a 2012 audit to have occurred.