The Regulatory Agenda

Federal Rulemaking Process

Federal agencies – including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture – create the policies that govern how we address the climate crisis, environmental injustice and public health threats. Here, too, EDF Action works to make sure that our nation has the strongest, most protective safeguards in place – by engaging with staff who are shaping the rules, taking part in public comment periods for proposed standards and testifying at public hearings.

We are actively urging the EPA to follow the science and adopt the strongest possible standards for particulate air pollution – more commonly known as soot. Particulate pollution is linked to reduced lung development in children, higher rates of asthma, bronchitis, heart disease, cancer and early death. It’s an especially big risk in communities of color and low-wealth communities.

We are also advocating for the EPA to swiftly finalize protective standards to reduce methane pollution from the oil and gas sector. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is more than 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in the short term. Methane from human sources is driving roughly one-third of current global warming.

Opportunities for the Biden Harris Administration to put forward strong rules that we anticipate engaging on in the near term include:

  • 1. Measures that could significantly reduce our traffic pollution and support the surge in momentum for zero-emission passenger cars and trucks and for zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles like delivery trucks and buses.
  • 2. Strengthening the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards to limit some of the most dangerous types of air pollution – including mercury, arsenic, chromium, nickel, and hydrochloric acid gas – that are emitted by coal and oil-fired power plants. These pollutants are hazardous to human health even in small doses; mercury causes brain damage in babies and is associated with heart disease, metal toxins like chromium and nickel cause cancer, and acid gases cause serious lung diseases.