On October 30, 2018, Fred Wagner was quoted in Inside EPA about how the EPA's plan to drop its system of providing letter grades on other agencies’ National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews is drawing mixed reactions from industry experts and environmentalists. According to the article, industry saying it will promote efficiency without curbing transparency while environmentalists warn it will dampen both transparency and public participation.
The rating system, which is used for grading and reviewing the quality of the agency's environmental impact statements (EIS), will now be replaced with technical concerns of the EPA.
Mr. Wagner says the letter grades "stopped being helpful a long time ago." That is because the vast majority of the ratings were "environmental concerns," which Wagner says is the easiest and most logical way to categorize a review, but is a rating that provides little information and is, in the end, unhelpful.