COVID-19 Response: Recent Executive Orders Present Opportunities for Businesses Seeking Regulatory and Enforcement Relief and Expedited Project Development

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Two recent Executive Orders offer regulatory and enforcement relief and encourage agencies to expedite infrastructure project approvals.

June 15, 2020
Karen C. Bennett, Jane C. Luxton & Amanda L. Tharpe - Lewis Brisbois

Washington, D.C. (June 8, 2020) - Two recent Executive Orders (EO) aimed at promoting economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis offer regulatory and enforcement relief and encourage agencies to expedite infrastructure project approvals. The May 19, 2020 EO 13924, “Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery,” directs agencies to determine whether previous regulatory reforms would promote economic recovery if made permanent and encourages compliance assistance through exercising enforcement discretion, including declining enforcement. And the June 4, 2020 EO 13927, “Accelerating the Nation’s Economic Recovery from the COVID-19 Emergency by Expediting Infrastructure Investments and Other Activities,” aims to speed up the permitting process for infrastructure projects to strengthen the national economy. As businesses look to move forward and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, they should closely review these EOs for opportunities to take advantage of streamlined treatment and faster project approvals.

EO 13294 supplements the Administration’s efforts to address the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic by encouraging federal agencies to rescind, modify, waive, or provide exemptions from federal regulations that may inhibit economic recovery and to provide guidance to businesses, particularly small businesses, on what is required of them under federal law for reopening. Specifically, the EO directs agency heads to identify regulatory standards that may inhibit economic recovery and consider rescinding or waiving those regulations, exempting regulated entities from compliance, exercising enforcement discretion, or extending regulatory compliance and enforcement deadlines. It also allows for compliance assistance through accelerated regulatory procedures to receive a pre-enforcement ruling and directs agencies to assess previous regulatory reforms to determine whether making them permanent would promote economic recovery. Since taking office, the Trump Administration has made regulatory reform a cornerstone of its agenda. This Executive Order is a continuation of the aggressive steps taken by the Administration to reduce the regulatory burden faced by American businesses that many argue increases operating costs, inhibits job creation, and stifles economic growth.

Reprinted courtesy of Lewis Brisbois attorneys Karen C. Bennett, Jane C. Luxton and Amanda L. Tharpe
Ms. Bennett may be contacted at
Ms. Luxton may be contacted at
Ms. Tharpe may be contacted at


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