The EPA Regulatory Relief Act (H.R. 2250)

October 13, 2011

To protect jobs and guard against harmful regulation, the House approved H.R. 2250, the EPA Regulatory Relief Act. The bipartisan measure passed the House on October 13, 2011, by a vote of 275 to 142.

H.R. 2250, introduced by Reps. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), will preserve hundreds of thousands of jobs currently at risk from EPA’s Boiler MACT rules. This legislation gives EPA time and direction to re-propose and finalize new rules so that standards and timelines for reducing emissions from industrial boilers and incinerators are achievable for real world facilities.

As written, EPA’s Boiler MACT rules will destroy jobs, raise prices, and send jobs permanently overseas. While EPA estimated capital expenditures for the final rules to be $5.8 billion and the costs for the rules collectively to be $2.3 billion annually, regulated entities believe EPA has underestimated the actual costs. In particular, the Council of Industrial Boiler Owners estimated that the capital costs of the final rules would exceed $14 billion and put over 230,000 jobs at risk. Similarly, for the final rules, the American Forest and Paper Association estimated costs could range from $5-7 billion for the forest products industry alone. Although EPA is reconsidering aspects of the rules, the agency’s proposed revisions, if finalized, would continue to impose similarly high costs and standards and compliance timeframes not realistic for many facilities.

The EPA Regulatory Relief Act offers a common-sense alternative to EPA’s current rules, providing America’s job creators with much-needed regulatory relief and sensible environmental safeguards. Specifically, the legislation will:

  • Provide EPA with 15 months to re-propose and finalize new rules for boilers, process heaters, and incinerators;
  • Extend compliance deadlines from 3 to at least 5 years to allow facilities adequate time to comply with the standards and install necessary equipment;
  • Direct EPA, when developing the new rules, to adopt definitions that allow sources to use a wide range of alternative fuels; and,
  • Direct EPA to ensure that the new rules are achievable by real-world boilers, process heaters, and incinerators and impose the least burdensome regulatory alternatives consistent with the President’s Executive Order 13563.