Government regulators tend to complicate retailers’ lives more often than not, but one federal agency is winning praise from a key trade group for its common sense approach to compliance.
Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its Notice of Data Availability (NODA) as part of its process to improve existing regulations that have been applied to the handling of unsold or returned consumer products at retail facilities. The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) released the following statement today in response to EPA’s notice.
“RILA commends the EPA for engaging retailers on an issue that is of such importance to the industry. The NODA’s release is an important first step toward improving regulations that are otherwise ill-suited for the unique operational functions of the retail sector,” said Deborah White, EVP and general counsel at RILA. “If the EPA acts on this important issue, it will mark major progress toward more practical regulatory reform. RILA looks forward to responding to the NODA and continuing to collaborate with the EPA to develop regulations that fit the retail industry.”
The NODA provides retailers with an opportunity to explain to the EPA how existing regulations, which were written decades ago for heavy industry, can most reasonably be applied to the retail sector.
“A more practical regulatory structure has the potential to unlock additional sustainable operations, including enhanced recycling or donations of intact products,” White continued.
The NODA specifically requested information on the operational structure of the industry, including training programs, transportation, reverse logistics and industry sustainability initiatives to better understand the sector and to develop practical regulations that meet the EPA’s mission while acknowledging retailers’ needs for a less burdensome compliance structure.