Groups press new regs czar to dislodge stalled rules

The organization is among a host of groups that have roundly criticized OIRA for holding up draft rules meant to protect public safety. Roughly half of more than 100 rules awaiting action at the office have been there for longer than the nonbinding 90-day review period. Some have languished for more than a year.

“Food safety, worker safety and environmental protections are stalled in White House review right now, so the test for the new OIRA administrator is whether he will change that,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “If he can uphold his pledge to make timely rule reviews a top priority, it would be great progress.”

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Weissman is also a co-chair of the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards, an alliance of more than 100 consumer watchdogs, unions, environmental groups and public interest organizations.

The coalition’s members have argued that OIRA has slowed the progress of rules, and called upon Shelanski to allow federal agencies to fulfill their regulatory obligations.

“OIRA has no business meddling in agency science, but that hasn’t stopped previous administrators from overstepping their role,” said Celia Viggo Wexler, senior Washington representative for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.