Law & Order

EPA Establishes Cost-Benefit Analysis Procedures

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has outlined the process to be employed for conducting a cost-benefit regulatory analysis under the Clean Air Act (CAA). The new procedures will require the EPA to prepare a cost-benefit analysis for all future significant proposed and final regulations under the CAA. The analysis is to be conducted using best available scientific information (engineering, physical, biological sciences) and best methodological risk assessment practices. The analysis is to be presented within the regulatory preamble in a transparent and objective fashion.

While the agency will be required to take the analysis into consideration, the rule does not have to pass a cost-benefit test—costs could still outweigh benefits. The rule is expected to be challenged in court. Some parties have expressed concern that the agency could understate the benefits of reducing air pollution.

For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at