U.S. EPA Publishes the Clean Air Act Cost-Benefit Rule Amidst Opposition and the End of the Trump Administration

February 2021

Environmental, Energy & Climate Change Law and Regulation Reporter, Volume 1, Number 5

“Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Benefits and Costs in the Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process,” a rule promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was made effective on December 23, 2020. 85 F.R. 84,130 (Dec. 23, 2020) (to be codified at 40 C.F.R. pt. 83). The rule consists of three main elements. The first requires a benefit-cost analysis (BCA) for all future significant proposed and final regulations under the Clean Air Act (CAA). The second element requires the BCAs stem from best practices from the economic, engineering, physical, and biological sciences. The rule outlines the BCA element requirements, including following established analysis protocols. Finally, the rule imposes increased transparency in the BCA results. By implementing such standards, the rule has created a cause of action for future regulations if the EPA does not follow these protocols.

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