EPA’s Retrospective Review of Regulations: Will it Reduce Manufacturing Burdens?

May 18, 2013

Sofie E. Miller

Download this Working Paper (PDF)


Through a series of Executive Orders, President Obama has encouraged federal regulatory agencies to review existing regulations “that may be outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome, and to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal them in accordance with what has been learned.” This paper examines the initial results of that review to understand whether actions pursued under this initiative are likely to be successful at reducing regulatory burden. Since reports suggest that the manufacturing sector bears greater regulatory burdens than other sectors3 , and that regulations issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) impose particularly high costs on this sector, the focus here is on the expected effects on the manufacturing sector of EPA’s identified reforms. The paper first reviews the President’s directives to agencies, and EPA’s retrospective review action plan. It then examines the effect of EPA regulations on the manufacturing sector through several different lenses. Finally, it evaluates the regulatory actions EPA identified through its retrospective analysis to determine whether they can be expected to reduce regulatory burdens on the manufacturing sector.