Influencing the Regulatory Process

Influencing the Regulatory Process 2016-03-07T20:32:36+00:00

Agencies of the U.S. government have been mandated by Congress to regulate almost every facet of commercial and human endeavor. These same agencies are often the unwitting tools of political interests to regulate that which they cannot legislate. All too often, the regulatory process escapes the watchful eye of Congress, and new rules are established that impose burdensome restrictions, cumbersome reporting requirements, and/or expensive changes to manufacturing standards.

The Chwat Group has been very effective in “discovering” these rulemaking activities, alerting our clients, proposing an intervention strategy and then impacting the regulatory process. What follows is a representative sampling of some issues our Firm has handled for other clients, working through some of the largest regulatory and legal firms in Washington, DC.

Regulatory Issues

Successfully lobbied Congress to exempt “negotiated rulemaking” from legislation that would impose a $1,000,000 limitation on the amount of money the Department of Transportation could spend on federal advisory committees.

Convinced Members of Congress to sponsor and cosponsor the Regulatory Information Presentation Bill, requiring federal agencies to report, in a consistent format in the Federal Register, their analysis of important issues in connection with a significant regulatory action.

Successfully lobbied Congress to defeat plans by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to require all passenger car tires sold in the U.S. to be labeled on the sidewall with information rating the tire’s “rolling resistance” or fuel economy characteristics.

Lobbied Congress, Federal Highway Administration and the State Departments of Transportation to defeat Administration plans to allow manufactured homes to be operated on public roads with tires exceeding the tire manufacturer’s weight rating limit by 18%.

Lobbied Congress and networked support from state and national organizations to support funding and creation of an Office of Technology within the Department of Labor/Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). On behalf of our client, urged Congress to direct that OSHA consider “state of the art technologies” in its rule making process.

Lobbied USDA and selected Members of Congress to increase USDA concern over rapid consolidation and mergers in the agri-biotech industry. Our policy review presented recent developments in the agri-biotech industry; advocacy for USDA to develop a “big picture” for this industry, and recommendations for heightened USDA role in agri-biotech merger reviews, in cooperation with the Department of Justice.

Lobbied selected Members of a conference committee to eliminate a House version of an appropriations bill that would reduce funding for OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) by $1.2 million unless OIRA identified annual five percent reductions in paperwork expected in fiscal year 1999 and fiscal year 2000.


Environmental Issues

Successfully networked throughout the hospitality and gaming industries to defeat an attempt by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to significantly change Indoor Air Quality standards and requirements for commercial buildings.

Coordinated a lobbying campaign to delete congressional funding of a multi-million dollar EPA initiative to establish a Building Air Quality Alliance (BAQA), thereby protecting owners and managers of establishments in commercial buildings, especially those in the hospitality industry, who had concerns regarding BAQA’s effort to ban the use of tobacco products in their establishments.

Principal player and organizer in a national Indoor Air Coalition to oppose an OSHA proposed standard for indoor air quality. Orchestrated written Docket submissions and oral testimony during public hearings, from trade associations, small and large business owners, state organizations, and 23 national coalition members.

On behalf of a New York trade association, provided expert testimony before the Nassau County (New York) Board of Health, regarding modern Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) ventilation techniques and filtration technologies for the removal of Environmental Tobacco Smoke.

Health Issues

For health care providers, advocated a moratorium on the expansion of E-Codes,” which are part of the ICD-9 International Classification of Diseases, until uniform guidelines, enforcement and training for the submission of data on “E-Codes” would yield improved accuracy and reliability of the process, as a data gathering tool. Also assisted our client in quieting public opposition of medical information reform by certain members of the National Center for Health Statistics.

Lobbied Congress, National Academy of Sciences and selected universities to include $850,000 in the Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) Education Appropriation Legislation for the study of injury control by the Institute of Medicine.

Assisted a major U.S. university by lobbying Congress to authorize funding for basic and applied research for the Analysis and Study of Environmental Estrogens.

Networked with industry groups to submit Docket responses to FDA to influence a proposed rule on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) procedures for the safe and sanitary processing and importing of juice, which would have required warning and notice statements be placed on packages to alert consumers of possible adverse health risks associated with non-processed juices. This lobbying effort resulted in an exemption for restaurants, grocery stores and other food establishments, which serve juice products by the glass.

Directed a major lobbying effort with Members of Congress regarding the establishment of pesticide tolerance factors by the EPA, in implementing the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996.

Prepared proposed congressional legislation on “Participation by Federal Personnel in Certain Activities of the World Health Organization.” Lobbied Congress to enact legislation to clarify that U.S. participation in meetings and expert consultations convened by the WHO which are intended to result in health recommendations or determinations which could affect persons or entities in the U.S. will be subject to procedures and restrictions similar to those specified in OMB Circular A-119 for other international voluntary consensus standards bodies.

Developed and implemented an aggressive lobbying effort to force the EPA to submit their plans to expand the Toxic Release Inventory, to include chemicals used in factories, to the Office of Management and Budget for a rigorous review.