OVERNIGHT REGULATION: Big day in court for EPA

Welcome to OVERNIGHT REGULATION, your daily rundown of news from Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Tuesday evening here in Washington and we're sending our thoughts and sympathies to the families of the passengers on the Airbus A320, which crashed in the French Alps this morning. French President François Hollande said officials believethere were no survivors.

Here's what is happening in Washington:

 

THE BIG STORY

The Supreme Court is gearing up to hear arguments in a case Wednesday that could send the Obama administration's Mercury and Air Toxic Standards back to the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Though the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the EPA in a 2-1 ruling, 23 states and more than two dozen industry and labor groups argue that the agency unreasonably refused to consider costs when enacting the first-ever limits on mercury, arsenic and acid gases emitted by coal- and oil-fired power plants.

Proponents of the rule, however said, say the standards are vital clean air protections that will reduce the toxic emissions coming from power plants found in more than 40 U.S. states.

"Air pollution emitted by coal-fired power plants contains 84 of the 187 hazardous pollutants identified for control by the Clean Air Act," the American Lung Association said in a statement.

"Many of these pollutants, such as, dioxins, arsenic, and lead, can cause cancer and cardiovascular disease; harm the kidneys, lungs, and nervous system; and even kill."

EPA estimated the compliance costs to be $9.6 billion annually and estimated yearly benefits to be $37 and $90 billion in annually. The rule, EPA said will also prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths each year, but opponents have widely disputed these benefits.

In an amicus brief, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said manufacturers will experience increased costs that they will pass on to the consumer.

"EPA, however, declined to weigh the potential costs of the rule against its very limited benefits with respect to reductions in hazardous air pollutant emissions when determining whether regulation of those pollutants from electric generating units was appropriate," the chamber said in its brief.

Log onto TheHill.com in the morning for the full story.

 

ON TAP FOR WEDNESDAY

The Senate Appropriation's Energy and Water Development Subcommittee will hold a hearing to discuss the proposed budget estimates for FY2016 for the Energy Department. http://1.usa.gov/1OxN3H3

The House Agriculture's Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the implications of potential retaliatory measures taken against the United States in response to meat labeling requirements. http://1.usa.gov/1CW5TVi

The House Appropriations' Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the budget for the Federal Railroad Administration, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. http://1.usa.gov/1CVQWCH

The House Energy and Commerce's Environment and the Economy Subcommittee will hold a meeting to markup the Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015, which establishes state permit programs for coal ash. http://1.usa.gov/1C8tiz3

The House Judiciary Committee will have a full committee hearing on "Wrecking the Internet to Save It? The FCC's Net Neutrality Rule." http://1.usa.gov/1HB5c4S

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 215 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Wednesday's edition of the Federal Register.

Here's what to look for:

--The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will provide regulatory relief to companies trading certain foreign futures and options.

The CFTC will provide an exemption from its foreign futures and options regulations for traders that face similar regulations from the Hong Kong government, the agency says.

The changes go into effect immediately. http://bit.ly/1HB1bx7

--The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will delay possible changes to certain chemical regulations. 

OSHA issued a request for information about its chemical management and permissible exposure limits last October, but will extend the review. The move pushes back any potential rule changes that could come out of the review.

The public now has until Oct. 9, 2015 to comment. http://bit.ly/1NcBYYu

--The Small Business Administration (SBA) will consider issuing new timber regulations.

The agency will issue an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking that would address small businesses' share of timber sales from national forests.

The public has 60 days to comment. http://bit.ly/1br0JEB

--The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will issue new regulations for its rural business development grant program.

The changes are coming from the USDA's Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service and Farm Service Agency.

The rule goes into effect immediately. http://bit.ly/1OxMVXY

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW

Regulatory reform: A Republican-controlled House panel approved two regulatory reform bills Tuesday that could roll back overly burdensome regulations. http://bit.ly/1FC9YhO

Guns: A Senate Republican is pushing a budget amendment that would block the Obama administration from reviving a controversial bullet ban, as well as a few other gun regulations. http://bit.ly/1EERJCI

Medical Marijuana: New legislation in the House would protect medical marijuana patients from being arrested. http://bit.ly/1GQYzHX

Climate: Senate Republicans are pushing a budget amendment that would allow states to opt out of a controversial climate rule from the EPA. http://bit.ly/1C87V0R

Drones: Amazon says the Obama administration's drone regulations are still too restrictive. http://bit.ly/1CnwRCX

Labor: The National Labor Relations Board is still grappling with the fallout from last year's defeat at the hands of the Supreme Court. http://bit.ly/1HylYhl

Nuclear waste: A group of senators are pushing a bill to build a nuclear waste dump. http://bit.ly/1BiAh5U

Patriot Act: Two House lawmakers are looking to dismantle the controversial Patriot Act. http://bit.ly/1CnxVH6

 

BY THE NUMBERS

$11,724: Regulatory compliance cost on average for small businesses per employee in 2012.

$34,671: Regulatory compliance cost on average for small manufacturers per employee in 2012.

87,000: Number of rules that have been issued since 1993

3,500: Number of new rules on average that are issued each year.

(Source: R Street Institute, a public policy research organization)

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Whereas many Democrats are concerned about the racial disparities in marijuana enforcement, the primary motivation on the right seems to be the extreme cost of enforcing these failed marijuana laws," -- Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority. http://bit.ly/1CWeuXP 

 

We’ll work to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, so check The Hill’s Regulation page (http://thehill.com/regulation) early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or regulatory news tips our way, tdevaney@thehill.com or lwheeler@thehill.com. And follow us at @timdevaney and@wheelerlydia.

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