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Quality of Life Review
On October 5, 1971, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum to the heads of departments and agencies which required that agency regulations, standards, and guidelines pertaining to environmental quality, consumer protection and occupational and public health any safety be submitted to OMB prior to promulgation.
The requirements set forth in this memorandum became known as the Quality of Life Review. During the past three years, virtually all of the regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency nave gone through this process. Periodically, particularly with the appointment of new officials, EPA has attempted to get out of this requirement. Each time such an attempt has occurred, our leadership, as well as the White House, reinforced the position set forth in the October 5, 1971 memorandum.
The purpose of this memorandum is to call to your attention to increasingly greater complaints from EPA that they are not getting an opportunity to review the regulations of other departments which issue regulations affecting EPA programs. Recent cases are described below:
OSHA–Vinyl Chloride Standards
Recently OSHA proposed in-plant standards which permit no detectable level of vinyl chloride. This low level is achieved by disbursing tae gas outside the plant. EPA is just completing a study which snows that the ambient concentration around most plants is, at a minimum, one to two parts per million. Presently EPA is being subjected to political pressure to close down certain plants.
This standard did not go through the Quality of Life process even though EPA asked to review the regulation before it went to the Federal Register.
Occupational Noise Regulation 1914.95
OSHA is ready to pose a regulation on occupational noise which EPA would like to review prior to promulgation.
Assistant Secretary Stender told EPA that he would send the regulation to EPA but feels that this, and similar regulations, are his soul responsibility not EPA's.
Federal Aviation Administration - Noise Standards
I have been receiving complaints from EPA for the past year in respect to FAA noise regulations. EPA claims that, (1) there is no process which permits them to review FAA regulations prior to publication in the Federal Register, and (2) that when they do offer comments, there is no process which permits their appointed officials to meet with FAA officials to resolve the resultant issues. They state that the only course of action presently available to them is to find out informally at the staff level what regulations FAA is working on and then ask OMB to call an interagency meeting.
In the past this approach has failed to identify several regulations. More specifically, EPA states that during the past six or seven month period the following rulemakings were published in the Federal Register without prior review by EPA:
NRPM 73-26 - Propeller Driven :mall Aircraft Noise Standards (December 10, 1973) .
ANPRM 73-32 - Noise Standards for Short Haul Aircraft (December 28, 1973) .
ANPRM 74-2 - Two Segment Instrument Landing System Noise Abatement Approach (February 16 , 1974) .
I am under the impression that the working relationship between FAA and EPA is improving but procedural problems remain - particularly in respect to OMB's role in arbitrating FAA-EPA differences.
In summary, even if institutional arrangements were made which would permit EPA to comment on FAA and OSHA regulations, whether before or after they are published in the Federal Register, presently I know of no mechanism which leads to a meeting of agency heads when significant policy differences arise.
I recommend that you, Mr. O' Neill and Mr. Scott address the degree to which other agencies are to participate in the Quality of Life Review process.
Jim J. Tozzi
Chief, Environment Branch
Natural Resources Division
Official File - NRD/EnBr