The US Environmental Protection Agency’s new rule makes regulatory, statutory and technical guidance documents accessible online — a relief to industry players used to digging through dusty file cabinets for obscure but important actions.
Jeff Holmstead, a partner at Bracewell LLP, said that’s a significant development for regulated companies.
“It’s important not only because of those that made the list, but because of those that didn’t make the list,” he said. “So in the future, the EPA can’t pull up a 1997 guidance document and say, ‘Here’s the answer to your question,’ because EPA has explicitly disavowed that, and said they don’t consider that guidance to be in effect.”
Holmstead said that while the new rule will be helpful, it isn’t a total fix.