Having a job in management at the EPA is no ordinary task. The EPA has about 18,000 employees, have of which work in Washington D.C. Of those 18,000 there is about 30 political appointees who manage the rest of the EPA’s employees. The office of policy is one of many departments in the EPA, and does a number of things. The office of policy sets the policy and the direction the EPA wants to proceed in, it meets with experts to discern and distill information, and they would “tee up” proposals to the administrator. The “teeing up” process consists of usually two or three proposed regulations for the administrator (the head of the EPA) to consider, and after an intense question and answer session, she decides which will be the best course of action.
Once a regulation is chosen, it is sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) where the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) looks at the proposed regulations from an economic perspective (using a cost benefit analysis) to ensure that the Presidents initiative are being properly implemented through the regulation. From here OIRA will quibble (fiercely) over the proposed regulation and its effects. The person in charge of OIRA is former Harvard law professor Cass (Ash) Sunstein a scholar of law and economics. The debates between OIRA and the EPA are often difficult because they require to the EPA to make compelling economic arguments, albeit some statute prohibit the EPA from making economic considerations.
The EPA’s current policy stance is complex due to the previous environmentally hostile administration (President Bush). The current EPA, as a result has been playing catch up; approximately a quarter of the regulations being written come from the previous administration’s intentional failures. A lot of work was done within the first eighteen months of the Obama administration. However, since the congress as taken by the Republicans, the EPA has been treading lightly, trying to say out of the Republican’s crosshairs. Some of the issues the EPA has and wants to address are: regulating green house gases, and mountain top mining.
Michael Perenich is an associate Personal Injury Lawyer at Perenich Caulfield Avril Noyes in Clearwater Florida. To learn more about him please go to his website. http://www.stpetersburginjurylawyers.com