The Trump administration wants to work more closely with industrial sectors in formulating the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations that affect them.
The EPA announced Tuesday that it’s reviving a Smart Sectors program to more formally cooperate with industries like oil and natural gas drilling, mining, steelmaking and agriculture for regulating.
It’s part of the administration’s efforts to be more industry-friendly while still protecting the environment, the EPA said.
“When we consider American business as a partner, as opposed to an adversary, we can achieve better environmental outcomes,” EPA head Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy & Environment — Biden makes return to pre-Trump national monument boundaries official Trump-era EPA board member sues over firing EPA bans use of pesticide linked to developmental problems in children MORE said in a statement.
“The Smart Sectors program is designed to effectively engage business partners throughout the regulatory process. The previous administration created a narrative that you can’t be pro-business and pro-environment. This program is one of the many ways we can address that false choice and work together to protect the environment,” he continued.
“When industries and regulators better understand each other, the economy, public, and the environment all benefit,” he said.
The EPA is assigning a handful of employees to act as liaisons to trade associations and companies for the effort.
The initial industries involved will be aerospace, agriculture, automotive, cement and concrete, chemical manufacturing, construction, electronics and technology, forestry and paper products, iron and steel, mining, oil and gas, ports and marine, and utilities and power generation.
No environmental, health or conservation groups are initially included, although the EPA left the door open for inclusion in the future.
Smart Sectors is a reincarnation of efforts under the Clinton and Bush administrations to establish lines of cooperation with industry. The Obama administration stopped the program in 2009.