Powerful EPA fails to meet deadlines

Ninety-eight percent of Environmental Protection Agency regulations for three core Clean Air Act programs were implemented late, according to a new study by William Yeatman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

While delaying EPA regulations may be economically beneficial, the failure to implement them in a timely fashion has encouraged the use of "sue and settle" lawsuits that enable special interests to dictate policy implementation in cahoots with the nonelected bureaucrats of the environmental agency.

Yeatman found that 200 regulations for the three programs have been implemented over the past two decades. However, just four (2 percent) were promulgated within their statutorily defined deadlines. The other 196 were late, by an average of 2,072 days (over five-and-a-half years). The EPA's inability to adhere to congressionally mandated deadlines has opened the door for special interests to dictate policy.

"If the EPA is out of compliance with virtually all of its deadlines," Yeatman said, "then clearly the agency has limited resources relative to its responsibilities. As a result, establishing any deadline determines how the EPA deploys its limited resources, which is no different than rendering policy."