Washington Department of Ecology Updates Rulemaking Suspensions


The Washington Department of Ecology ("Ecology") has released its latest list of rulemaking proceedings that will be suspended in compliance with Gov. Christine Gregoire's November 17, 2010, executive order directing state agencies to suspend non critical rulemaking. The list is relatively short, and it appears that many of Ecology's proposed regulations, particularly those dealing with greenhouse gas emissions, will continue through the rulemaking process notwithstanding the Governor's suspension order.

The Governor said in her executive order last month that the rulemaking suspension is necessary because "severe budget constraints [make] it difficult for small businesses and governments to monitor and respond to proposed changes in rules and policies." She directed state agencies to suspend immediately all "non-critical" rulemaking through December 31, 2011, because of the need to provide a "stable and predictable regulatory and policy environment," to "conserve resources for small businesses and local governments, and to promote economic recovery." The Governor's order came with a set of guidelines, including a number of exemptions, for determining what constitutes non-critical rulemaking subject to the suspension. Ecology issued an initial list of determinations and then solicited input from citizens, stakeholders, and local and tribal governments.

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