EPA Reverses 2020 Rule, Restoring Key Functions of Environmental Appeals Board, Promoting Fairness and Integrity in Decision-Making
This rule restores transparency and meaningful public participation to the board’s impartial appeals process
WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rescinded most of a 2020 rule on the EPA appeals process, restoring the organization and function of the Environmental Appeals Board (EAB), an independent, impartial review board that makes final Agency decisions in administrative appeals.
“Achieving greater transparency and maintaining the public trust are among my top priorities and reestablishing the EAB as an impartial review body is an important step to deliver on those commitments,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “This rule promotes accountability and meaningful public participation in the appeals process and reinstates long-standing authority to the EAB to consider environmental justice in the context of its decisions.”
Since its establishment in 1992, the EAB has been one of EPA’s most important and enduring institutions, providing for checks and balances and a broader range of input in administrative decision-making and inspiring confidence in the fairness of agency adjudications. By rescinding most of the 2020 EAB rule, the organization and function of the EAB as well as the rules governing administrative appeals are fully restored.
On January 20, 2021, President Joe Biden signed Executive Order 13990, “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis,” which directed EPA to review all regulations and policies undertaken by the previous administration, and to rescind or revise any that do not protect public health and the environment, including those which fail to adequately protect the integrity of federal decision-making. After review of the 2020 EAB rule, EPA determined that it adversely affects the administration of the Agency’s appeals process and took steps to rescind the rule.
The final rule is effective upon publication in the Federal Register. EPA is committed to ensuring the EAB continues to serve as a model for fairness and integrity in federal decision-making in the resolution of administrative appeals, furthering the agency’s mission to protect public health and the environment and advance environmental justice.
For more information on the EAB, visit: www.epa.gov/eab.