DOT announces final rules streamlining rulemaking and enforcement processes

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced a final rule implementing reforms to the department’s rulemaking, guidance and enforcement practices. She said the rule will enhance public participation and reduce regulatory costs.

“When rules are outdated, duplicative, overly complex and contradictory, they harm the cause of safety and effectiveness. This effort enhances the department’s regulatory process by providing greater transparency and strengthening due process in enforcement actions,” Chao said.

The new “rule on rules,” she said, “is an example of the type of good government embraced by this administration. It will continue to aid the department in promoting clear and effective engagements with all those who are impacted by DOT’s regulations, which touch on all forms of transportation.”

Since January 2017, DOT has issued 23 deregulatory actions for every new significant regulation, Chao said, far exceeding President Trump’s stated goal of eliminating two existing regulations for each newly adopted regulation.

These DOT decisions have saved the U.S. economy and consumers $3.68 billion in regulatory costs, the department stated. “DOT continues to maintain the largest number of deregulatory actions in the Unified Agenda of any department or agency.”

Chao said the new rule includes “permanently incorporating the Trump Administration’s regulatory reform policies on regulatory budgeting, the ‘2-for-1’ plan, and the Regulatory Reform Task Force. The Rule will codify additional procedures for the issuance of the Department’s most costly rules, including enhanced opportunities for public participation.

“The rule clarifies that the Department’s guidance documents do not impose legal obligations and shall not be used as a basis for enforcement. It also ensures due process protections for potential subjects of enforcement actions, including open and fair investigations and proceedings.”

“It’s my understanding that while she was secretary of labor under President Bush, that department went four years without one new regulation,” said Ken Presley, United Motorcoach Association’s vice president of industry relations and chief operating officer. “Secretary Chao understands that regulations suffocate enterprise. It is no accident that Transportation is leading all departments in eliminating regulations.”


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