Senate Republicans have compiled a top-10 list of federal regulations they want to change or eliminate. Many of the rules are intended to protect or clean up the environment.
No. 1 on the GOP priority list is the Endangered Species Act, followed closely by the Clean Air Act and the Superfund, the Environmental Protection Agency program intended to clean up hazardous waste sites.
Sen. Christopher Bond of Missouri, co-chairman of a GOP task force on regulatory reform, said the list represents government rules senators hear about most often at home.”We hear complaints continually from our states about regulatory burdens that are making life difficult,” Bond said. “The No. 1 area of concern in Missouri is the environmental area.”
But Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt took issue with the GOP plans.
“The new majority in Congress has said quite clearly, ‘We’re going to take on the Endangered Species Act, we’re going to take on Clean Water (Act), the Superfund,’ all of the web of environmental laws that I think have been tremendously successful.”
In most cases, the Republicans do not intend to completely scrap the laws from which regulations have grown. They are targeting specific rules used to implement the laws, such as the vehicle inspection programs required in many communities to combat air pollution.
Other environmental rules on the GOP hit list include:
Those stemming from the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.
The 1958 Delaney Clause, which governs levels of pesticides or preservatives allowed in food.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules.
Rules involving use of wetlands in agricultural areas.
Truth in Lending Act and the Community Reinvestment Act, which cover fair lending practices.