.* *. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency	12-P-0579
 &M \ Dffiro rf Incnprtnr	July 19, 2012
^ (fcjl z Office of Inspector General
' At a Glance
Why We Did This Review
The purpose of this review was
to assess the reasons behind the
lack of comment on Regulatory
Flexibility Act (RFA) Section
610 reviews conducted by the
U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA).
Under Section 610 of the RFA,
agencies are required to review
rules which have or will have a
significant economic impact on
a substantial number of small
entities anytime within 10 years
of promulgation. The purpose
of these reviews is for the
agency to determine whether
such regulations should be
continued as written or should
be amended or rescinded,
consistent with the stated
objectives of applicable
statutes, to minimize their
impact on small entities.
Limited Public Comment on EPA's Regulatory
Flexibility Act Section 610 Reviews
For further information, contact
our Office of Congressional and
Public Affairs at (202) 566-2391.
The full report is at:
What We Found
An essential aspect of Section 610 reviews is obtaining public comment on the
impact of regulations. We found that EPA receives little to no public comment
when Section 610 review notices are published in the Federal Register. This
limited public comment can hinder the ability of the Agency to implement an
effective Section 610 review process.
EPA's ability to conduct effective retrospective reviews is dependent on
feedback from the public and the regulated community. We found that the
shortage of comments may be the result of the following reasons:
	If small business concerns are identified, the Agency is mandated by the
RFA to address these during the initial rulemaking process, which could
result in concerns being addressed at the outset.
	EPA is required by a number of other statutes to conduct retrospective
reviews; the Agency may have already reviewed and modified
regulations before the 10-year mark for the Section 610 review. These
other reviews are generally not coordinated with Section 610 reviews.
	Ten years after a rule is finalized may not be the optimal time to seek
feedback; some rules may benefit from a review closer to issuance.
	Some of the stakeholders in the regulated community that we contacted
were unaware of the purpose or execution of the Section 610 reviews.
Recommendations/Planned Agency Corrective Actions
We recommend that EPA's Associate Administrator for Policy coordinate the
Section 610 review with other required retrospective reviews, and implement
additional public outreach efforts to increase awareness of the Section 610
purpose and process.
The Agency indicated that it is committed to coordinating Section 610 reviews
with other required reviews when appropriate. EPA agreed to implement
additional public outreach to increase awareness of the Section 610 review
purpose and process, including making changes to its Small Entities and
Rulemaking website within 3 months.