WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives today passed H.R. 1917, the Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns (BRICK) Act, by a vote of 234-180-1.
In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the Brick MACT rule which set stringent standards for brick industry emissions. These entities, many of which are small businesses, have expressed serious concerns about their ability to meet the requirements and are currently challenging the rule in federal court. H.R. 1917, authored by committee member Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) would extend the rule’s compliance dates pending the completion of judicial review and preserve America’s brick industry and its 7,000 jobs.
The legislation also contains provisions from another Energy and Commerce Committee-passed bill, H.R. 453, the Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act of 2017. The provisions within H.R. 1917 would help both manufacturers and users of wood heaters by providing an additional three years to comply with the second step of EPA’s New Source Performance Standards.
Rep. Johnson, author of H.R. 1917, stated, “The majority of U.S. brick and ceramic plants are small, family owned operations, often located in rural communities that depend on the plant for good-paying jobs. They’ve built some of the most recognizable buildings, cities, towns in existence across America, including many within Eastern and Southeastern Ohio…The bill before us today, H.R. 1917, the BRICK Act, ensures history does not repeat itself. This legislation simply allows for the consideration and completion of judicial review regarding the 2015 regulation, before requiring costly compliance.”
“America’s brickmakers literally produce the building blocks of our nation. They are primarily small businesses and are often the most important employer in the small communities across America where they are located,” concluded #SubEnvironment Chairman Shimkus (R-IL). “This industry has already reduced its emissions by up to 95 percent, according to a study from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It should not be forced to comply with another new regulation that may not withstand judicial scrutiny. We owe it to these brickmakers, their employers, and consumers of building materials to allow meaningful judicial review.”