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Owens Seeks Input from Upstate Small Businesses

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Bill Owens today announced a request to small business owners in New York's 23rd Congressional District to help identify existing and proposed federal regulations that impede economic development and job creation. Business owners are encouraged to share experiences and ideas with Congressman Owens through a new page on his website at

"I encourage small businesses to reach out and share information on their interactions with the federal government," said Owens. "I have had the opportunity to hear about many of these issues through meetings with constituents, and I hope to cast a wider net with this request for feedback. Through this new webpage, I look forward to hearing from entrepreneurs across Upstate on regulations that are unnecessary, cost money, and waste time."

Small business owners will find space on the new webpage to report descriptions of what they consider to be onerous regulations, estimate time and cost required for compliance, and offer their proposed solutions.

When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed additional regulations relating to small business noise standards by requiring employers to implement more expensive engineering solutions, Owens worked with a local business leader in December to fight the regulation, sending a letter to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis urging her to reconsider the regulation. In January, OSHA abandoned plans to implement the regulation.

"IntraPac was glad to see Congressman Owens taking a stand for reasonable OSHA regulations that will both maintain worker safety and maintain jobs within the 23rd District. The regulation proposed on noise levels would have been impossible for us to meet and would have put every job within our facility in jeopardy. OSHA clearly heard the Congressman's concerns about how this regulation would affect jobs in the 23rd District and we thank him for his efforts," said Bob Blankenheim, VP of Operations and General Manager of IntraPac in Plattsburgh.

Most recently, Congressman Owens joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to exempt milk spills from being classified in the same manner as oil spills under the Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure program. On February 15, Owens met with EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck, who advised the Congressman that this proposed regulation would not be adopted.

Additionally, Owens worked with local stakeholders and a bipartisan group of colleagues in urging the EPA to abandon a proposed rule that would over-regulate the waste oil created when motorists perform their own oil changes.

"In his State of the Union address, the President called for a review of federal regulations. I couldn't agree more that reducing regulation and streamlining government in order to create jobs is a top priority. " added Owens. "I look forward to hearing from local business leaders and farmers on this issue as we work together to create jobs and continue down the path of economic recovery."

Owens' legislation to repeal the expanded 1099 reporting requirement included in health care reform law, which does not take effect until 2012, is also a result of his outreach to small business leaders in New York's 23rd Congressional District.

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