Administration Releases Spring Agenda with Anticipated Regulatory Actions for 2020 and Beyond

Twice a Year the Administration Updates its Unified Agenda

Twice a year the Administration updates its Unified Agenda with projected timelines for rulemakings and other actions.  The spring agenda, released June 30, 2020, shows some delay in movement on key water programs that AGC has been tracking due to their relevance to the construction industry.  AGC summarizes these developments below.

Army Corps of Engineers

  • Review rules related to the review and approval of mitigation banks and in-lieu fee programs for compensatory mitigation (proposal pushed to Sept. 2020).
  • Modify select nationwide permits to meet the requirements of Executive Order 13783 (related to energy independence); the Corps also is considering reissuing the remaining nationwide permits to keep all 52 nationwide permits on the same five-year cycle (proposal was pushed to June 2020, not yet released).

Council on Environmental Quality

  • Update existing CEQ regulations implementing the procedural requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) pursuant to Executive Order 13807 (related to the environmental review process) (final anticipated in Sept. 2020).

Environmental Protection Agency

Although not on the spring agenda, U.S. EPA is working on reissuance of the Multi-Sector General Permit for stormwater discharges from industrial activities—completion expected for 2020.  U.S. EPA also will begin the process for reissuing its Construction General Permit for stormwater discharges—due in 2022.

Fish and Wildlife Service

  • Review and revise regulations for listing of species and for designation of critical habitat; will include a definition of the term “habitat” (proposal was expected in June 2020).
  • Revise policy on interpretation of the phrase "significant portion of its range" in the Endangered Species Act's (ESA) definitions of "endangered species" and "threatened species" (proposed policy pushed back to Oct. 2020)
  • Establish new regulation governing the take of migratory birds to codify the legal opinion in the Department of the Interior Solicitor’s Opinion M-37050 that incidental take resulting from an otherwise lawful activity is not prohibited under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (final expected in Oct. 2020).

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