March-April Small Business Advocate

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Report on the Regulatory Flexibility Act, FY 2021

Advocacy’s Report on the Regulatory Flexibility Act details the office’s efforts to reduce regulatory burdens in fiscal year 2021. Advocacy’s efforts led to fifteen changed rules and a quantifiable $3.277 billion in small business regulatory cost savings.

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GSA and DOD Announce New "Buy American" Rule

In his first State of the Union address, President Joe Biden pledged that the United States would “buy American” when spending federal money. This writeup explains a few of the White House’s initiatives for American small business procurement.

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Deputy Chief Counsel Testifies Before House Subcommittee

On April 6, 2022, Deputy Chief Counsel Major Clark III testified before the House Small Business Committee, Subcommittee on Underserved, Agricultural, and Rural Business Development. Deputy Chief Counsel Clark's full testimony can be found on the Advocacy website.

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Regulatory Alerts

EPA Proposes to Ban Ongoing Uses of Chrysotile Asbestos Under Section 6(A) of the Toxic Substance Control Act

On April 12, 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency published a proposed rule to ban ongoing uses of chrysotile asbestos based on its unreasonable risk determination under the Toxic Substance Control Act. Comments are due June 13, 2022.

DOL Announces Additional Listening Sessions on Overtime Regulations

The Department of Labor has announced additional virtual Overtime listening sessions on regulations that implement the Fair Labor Standard Act’s minimum wage and overtime exemptions for bona fide executive, administrative, and professional employees. These listening sessions will be held in May and June.

BOEM Seeks Comments on Morro Bay Wind Energy Area Environmental Assessment

On April 6, 2022, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management published a draft environmental assessment that analyzes the potential impacts from future offshore wind commercial leasing activities and related activities within the Morro Bay Wind Energy Area. Written comments are due by May 6, 2022.

EPA Seeks Comments on Notice of Proposed Small MS4 General Permit in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

On March 31, 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a Notice of Proposed Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System General Permit that includes a new template. EPA argues that the notice does not need to comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act or include small entities. Written comments due May 16, 2022.

Army Corps Seeks Comments on Nationwide Permit (NWP) 12 for Oil or Natural Gas Pipeline Activities

On March 28, 2022, the United States Army Corps of Engineers published a notice announcing its formal review of Nationwide Permit 12 for Oil or Natural Gas Pipeline Activities. The Army Corps will be hosting four public virtual meetings to provide an overview of NWP 12 as well as to receive feedback from the public on May 10, May 12, May 17, and May 19, 2022. Comments on NWP 12 are due May 27, 2022.

FWS Proposes to Reclassify Northern Long-Eared Bat as Endangered

On March 23, 2022, the Fish and Wildlife Service published a proposed rule to reclassify the northern long-eared bat as endangered. Comments on the proposal are due by May 23, 2022.

EPA Proposes to Set New Emission Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles

On March 28, 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency published a rule that would set new, more stringent standards to reduce pollution from heavy-duty vehicles and engines starting in model year 2027. Comments on the rule are due May 13, 2022.

EPA Seeks Comments on Proposed Clean Water Act Hazardous Substance Worst Case Discharging Planning Regulations

On March 28, 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency published a notice of proposed rulemaking that would require an owner or operator of an onshore non-transportation facility to prepare and submit a plan for responding to a worst-case discharge of a hazardous substance into or on the navigable waters, adjoining shorelines, or exclusive economic zones. Comments on the rule are due May 27, 2022.

 

 

Advocacy News

Remembering Kay Ryan, 1932-2022

The Office of Advocacy is saddened to learn of the passing of former Deputy Chief Counsel Mary “Kay” Ryan, who served as Advocacy’s Deputy Chief Counsel from 1994-2001. Advocacy staff remember her as a cherished mentor and dedicated public servant.

Letters to Agencies

Advocacy Comments on the Status of Approved Jurisdictional Determinations Finalized Under the Navigable Waters Protection Rule

On April 14, 2022, Advocacy submitted comments to the Army Corps of Engineers on the status of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule and Approved Jurisdictional Determinations. Advocacy recommended modifications to the announcement to protect small entities potentially affected by the rule.

Advocacy Comments on EPA’s Proposed Response to Petition to Revise NHSM

On March 29, 2022, Advocacy submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency on a proposal to revise the Non-Hazardous Secondary Material standard published in January. Advocacy encouraged EPA to allow expanded use of creosote-treated railroad ties as a fuel source.

Advocacy Comments on CPSC’s Proposal to Establish Safety Standards for Custom Window Coverings

On March 23, 2022, Advocacy commented on the Consumer Protection Safety Commission’s proposal to establish safety standards for window coverings. Advocacy encouraged CPSC to make reasonable modifications that would make compliance easier for small businesses.

Advocacy Comments on Offshore Wind Energy Development

On March 11, 2022, Advocacy responded to a Department of Energy request for information on offshore wind development. Advocacy encouraged the Wind Energies Technology Office to conduct research on the impact of offshore wind development on coastal communities and their small businesses.

Advocacy Comments on Medicare Program

On March 7, 2022, Advocacy commented on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid’s proposed revisions to the Medicare Advantage (Part C) program and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit (Part D) program. Advocacy expressed concerns about costs to small pharmacies.

Advocacy Comments on the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan

On March 3, 2022, Advocacy commented on the National Marine Fisheries Service proposed rule surrounding whale take reduction. Advocacy asked for a delay in the implementation of the rule to accommodate small businesses.

More Regulatory Alerts

DOL Proposes to Update Prevailing Wage Methodology Under Davis-Bacon Act

On March 18, 2022, the Department of Labor published a proposed rule to update regulations implementing the Davis-Bacon Act, which applies to federal and federally-assisted construction projects. The DOL seeks comment on its initial regulatory flexibility analysis for this rule. These comments are due by May 17, 2022.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

There are two main ways you can connect with Advocacy and share your concerns about regulatory burdens on small businesses:

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1) Contact Advocacy Staff about the regulatory issues your small business is experiencing.

 

2) Check Out Advocacy's Publication, "A Basic Guide to Federal Rulemaking and Small Business" to learn how small business can get involved in the federal rulemaking process.