NRC SEEKS COMMENTS RE RETROSPECTIVE REVIEW OF ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS

On May 3, 2018, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced that the agency is soliciting public comments on its strategy for identifying administrative regulations that are outdated or duplicative and can be eliminated without an adverse effect on the agency mission.  (See 83 Federal Register 19,464 dated May 3, 2018.)  The NRC anticipates this effort will improve how applicants and licensees submit information, keep records and report to the agency.

Overview

The goal of the retrospective review is to enhance the management and administration of regulatory activities, as well as to ensure that the agency’s regulations remain current and effective.  The effort is limited to identifying outdated or duplicative, non-substantive administrative regulations that may be eliminated without an adverse effect on public health or safety, common defense and security, protection of the environment, or regulatory efficiency and effectiveness.

In particular, the review is intended to identify regulatory changes that are administrative in nature and which will make information submittal, record keeping and reporting processes more efficient for the agency, applicants and licensees.

Specific Questions

The NRC is providing an opportunity for the public to submit information and comments on the criteria that the NRC proposes to use to identify administrative requirements for potential modification or elimination. The NRC is particularly interested in gathering input in the following areas:

  • Do the proposed evaluation criteria serve the purposes described in this notice? Why or why not?
  • The NRC is considering whether the burden reduction minimum is appropriate. Is “significant burden” the appropriate measure?  Are the examples given for the third identified criterion appropriate or useful?  Should the NRC use different bases for measuring “significant burden” and, if so, what are these measures and how would they result in a more accurate or complete measurement of burden?
  • The NRC is considering multiple thresholds for different classes of regulated entities, as a single threshold might not be useful to identify burden reductions for all licensee types. What is the appropriate threshold for your entity class (e.g., operating reactor, industrial radiographer, fuel cycle facility)?
  • Are there other evaluation criteria the NRC should consider using in its retrospective review of administrative regulations? What are those criteria and why?

Interested stakeholders may suggest other criteria.  In such case, NRC requests that stakeholders provide supporting rationale for any alternative criteria.

Submitting Comments

The comment period will run until July 2, 2018.  Comments received after this date will be considered if deemed practical to do so.  Due to the NRC’s schedule for completing the retrospective review of administrative regulations, the agency will not prepare written responses to each individual comment.  Comments can be submitted through the following methods:

  • email to (Rulemaking.Comments (at) nrc (dot) gov) Rulemaking.Comments (at) nrc (dot) gov;
  • facsimile to (301) 415-1101;
  • mail to Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff; or,
  • hand deliver to 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852 between 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on federal workdays.

Interested stakeholders are requested to please include Docket ID NRC-2017-0214 in any submission.

Background

On August 11, 2017, the NRC announced that the agency was initiating — beginning in the fall of the calendar year 2017 — a retrospective review of its administrative regulations to identify those rules that are outdated or duplicative.  Once identified, the regulations will be evaluated to determine whether they can be eliminated without impacting the agency’s mission.

On November 22, 2017, the NRC staff issued SECY–17–0119, “Retrospective Review of Administrative Regulations,” which provided for Commission approval of the NRC staff’s proposed strategy for the retrospective review of regulations.  The staff requirements memorandum associated with SECY– 17–0119 approved the NRC staff’s proposal and directed staff to implement the strategy.

Overall, the goal of the retrospective review is to enhance the management and administration of regulatory activities and to ensure that the agency’s regulations remain current and effective.  The review is intended to identify regulatory changes that are administrative in nature that will make the information submittal, record keeping, and reporting processes more efficient for the staff, applicants, and licensees.

The strategy takes into consideration the agency’s overall statutory responsibilities, including mandates to issue new regulations, the number of regulations in Chapter I of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations and available resources.  According to NRC, this effort will not impact the agency’s mission, as it will be limited to identifying outdated or duplicative, non-substantive administrative regulations.

For additional information, please contact Margaret Ellenson of the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards (NMSS) at (301) 415-0894 or at (Margaret.Ellenson (at) nrc (dot) gov) Margaret.Ellenson (at) nrc (dot) gov or Andrew Carrera of NMSS at (301) 415-1078 or at (Andrew.Carrera (at) nrc (dot) gov) Andrew.Carrera (at) nrc (dot) gov.