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EPA Enforcement Trends and New Limits on Agencies' Use of Non-regulatory Guidance

Patrick Traylor, partner in the Environmental & Natural Resources Group, presented a CLE drawing from his experience as Deputy Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA). He addressed this Administration’s national compliance initiatives, its policy on coordination between the federal government and states, and the challenges and opportunities facing the energy industry.

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Conrad Bolston, senior associate in the Environmental & Natural Resources Group, presented on recent developments potentially limiting the use of guidance by agencies and increasing transparency and the implications for the energy industry. Conrad covered:

  • Two October executive orders – one addressing transparency regarding guidance documents used and published by federal agencies, and the other promoting transparency and fairness in civil administrative enforcement
  • The recent interpretation of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clarifying that the Congressional Review Act applies to guidance documents.
  • A recent Supreme Court opinion describing the scope of the deference courts may show to an agency’s interpretation of its own regulations.

This presentation was recorded and current as of November 21, 2019. Content viewed after this date may no longer be current.

This information is provided by Vinson & Elkins LLP for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as legal advice.