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INDUSTRY NEWS: WDMA Applauds House Passage of Sue and Settle Bill

October 26, 2017 10:29 am

[Washington, DC] –  The Window & Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) is applauding the House of Representatives for passing the Sunshine for Regulations and Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act of 2017 (HR 469). Sponsored by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), this WDMA-backed legislation codifies reforms to the process used by regulatory agencies known as “sue and settle”, which was used in 2010 to remove the opt-out provision of the Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule (RRP).  WDMA members advocated for this bill’s passage during the 2017 Legislative Conference in Washington, DC, which passed the House 234-187.

“WDMA is pleased that the House has passed this important bill to make ‘the sue and settle’ process more transparent for the public,” said Michael O’Brien, WDMA President and CEO.  “The requirements in this bill will allow for more participation in federal rulemaking and ensure regulations work effectively for all affected parties.  WDMA urges the Senate to immediately take up and pass this legislation.”

While Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt recently signed a directive making changes to “sue and settle” procedures at EPA, this bill was necessary to codify changes to the “sue and settle” process across the entire federal government.  It requires all federal agencies to publicly publish any negotiated consent decrees and legal settlement agreements – which compel an agency to undertake a new rulemaking – at least 60 days before they’re filed in court.  The bill also allows for public comment and participation of settlement negotiations.  In addition, courts would be required to ensure that all rules governing federal rulemaking are met before accepting settlements.

The bill will now move to the Senate for consideration.  Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has introduced a companion bill, S. 119, which is pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee.