Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson joined his colleagues in the House of Representatives in supporting legislation to bring needed regulatory relief to America's job creators. Last night the House passed H.R. 2250, the EPA Regulatory Relief Act, and last week passed H.R. 2681, the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act, with bipartisan votes. Both bills provide the EPA with the opportunity to re-propose and finalize achievable rules impacting the manufacturing sector.
H.R. 2250 would impact four rules announced by EPA earlier this year affecting boilers, process heaters, and certain solid waste incinerators in the United States and set standards, including "maximum achievable control technologies" (MACT), under the Clean Air Act. As currently written, the rules would cost industry $14.4 billion and would put 224,000 jobs at risk. Even EPA recognizes that the rules are not practically achievable and requested a 15-month extension from the courts to re-propose the rules, but the request was denied. The bill provides EPA with a 15-month extension to re-write the rules, ensures that the new rules are achievable by real-world boilers, and extends the compliance deadline to allow industry adequate time to comply. Simpson is a cosponsor of H.R. 2250.
"As originally published, the Boiler MACT rules could strike a severe blow to the manufacturing economy. Not only are the rules far more restrictive than actually needed to protect the environment, but they are cost-prohibitive and not achievable in the real world," said Simpson. "H.R. 2250 gives the EPA the time it has requested to re-examine these rules and come up with reasonable, achievable standards that protect the environment without further damaging our economy."
H.R. 2681 proposes similar extensions and directives to EPA regarding rules impacting the Portland cement manufacturing industry. The rules currently proposed by EPA would impose extremely strict standards on the industry that are both cost- and technology-prohibitive and simply cannot be met by many facilities within the compliance period. The cement industry estimates that nearly 20 percent of domestic cement production would be shut down if the current rules were enacted. Simpson's Interior and Environment Appropriations Act for FY12 includes language preventing the Portland cement rules from being implemented.
"I am concerned that, in spite of the industry's efforts to collaborate with EPA on creating standards that would be achievable and beneficial, the agency has ignore the industry's concerns and proposed to implement regulations that not only are cost prohibitive but for which no technology currently exists," said Simpson. "These rules are clear examples of the impact that EPA's overzealous regulatory agenda is having on job creation in this country. Companies impacted by these rules are paralyzed by uncertainty about whether they will be able to afford hire new workers or even to continue operating. In passing these bills, the House is taking important steps to provide for more job creation in this country."