BLM proposes to suspend or delay parts of waste prevention rule

WASHINGTON —As part of President Trump’s goal to reduce the burden of federal regulations that hinder economic growth and energy development, the Bureau of Land Management today announced in the Federal Register a proposal to temporarily suspend or delay certain requirements contained in the 2016 final Waste Prevention Rule (also known as the Venting and Flaring Rule) until Jan. 17, 2019.  The proposal includes the opportunity for public comment.  

“As we strengthen America’s energy independence, we intend to evaluate regulations to determine if they unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, or prevent job creation,” said acting BLM Director Michael D. Nedd.  “Our proposal would give the BLM sufficient time to review the 2016 final rule and consider revising or rescinding its requirements.”

The BLM reviewed the 2016 final rule as part of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s Secretarial Order No. 3349, American Energy Independence, issued on March 29.  The BLM found that some parts of the 2016 final rule appear to be unnecessarily burdensome on industry. 

In planning for additional review of the rule, the BLM determined that a temporary suspension or delay of certain requirements would avoid compliance costs on operators for requirements that may be rescinded or significantly revised in the near future.  For certain requirements in the 2016 final rule that have yet to be implemented, the proposed rule would temporarily postpone the implementation dates until Jan. 17, 2019.  For certain requirements in the 2016 final rule that are currently in effect, the proposed rule would temporarily suspend their effectiveness, also until Jan. 17, 2019.  This would give the BLM sufficient time to review the 2016 final rule and consider revising or rescinding its requirements.  During this time, existing federal, state, and tribal regulations will ensure energy development is done in an environmentally sound, safe and responsible manner.

The BLM’s proposal supports the administration’s priorities that require agencies to seek ways to reduce the costs of regulatory compliance (Executive Order 13771, Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs) and that require the Secretary to review four specific rules, including the BLM’s 2016 final rule on waste prevention (Executive Order 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth).  

Public comments on this proposed rule are due to the BLM on or before November 6, 2017.  The BLM is not obligated to consider, or include in the administrative record, comments received after this date or delivered to an address other than those listed below in making its decisions on the final rule.  The notice is available today on the Federal Register public inspection desk here.


Mail: U.S. Department of the Interior, Director (630), Bureau of Land Management, Mail Stop 2134LM, 1849 C St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20240, Attention:  1004-AE52.

Personal or messenger delivery: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, 20 M Street, S.E., Room 2134 LM, Washington, D.C. 20003, Attention: Regulatory Affairs.

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions at the website.