The National Association of Counties (NACo) reported that NACo Northeast regional representative and Berks County, Pa., Commissioner Christian Leinbach testified county representatives testified before the United States Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management and Regulatory Affairs on June 7. Leinbach discussed the effect of recent United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rulemakings on county governments and the need for increased consultation with counties. From a 2016-06-08 news email:
“Many of the basic functions of county government, including ownership and maintenance of public infrastructure, are affected by federal environmental regulations,” Leinbach said. “So when federal agencies, like the EPA, change or update rules, their decisions will inevitably affect our ability to serve residents at the local level.”Leinbach’s testimony outlined three key points as Congress continues to assess federal regulations and their impacts on state and local governments:
- Counties and local governments play a key role as regulators and regulated entities in the federal regulatory process.
- The growing number of federal regulations and mandates has significant impacts on counties and our residents.
- Finally, meaningful intergovernmental consultation will build consensus around and increase the effectiveness of federal regulations.Leinbach recounted how a number of recent Environmental Protection Agency regulations —“Waters of the U.S.” rule, Risk Management rule and Ozone rule — have affected counties nationwide.“If federal, state and local governments work together, we can accomplish our shared goals of environmental protection, while crafting rules that are more practical to implement at the local level,” said Leinbach.