WASHINGTON, DC – The Environment Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), today held a legislative hearing examining several Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules and policies that have had adverse effects on small businesses. #SubEnvironment looked at four pieces of legislation that seek to alleviate the burden these policies have on businesses and manufacturers across the country.
The subcommittee examined the following bills:
H.R. 350, Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2017, authored by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and committee member Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) would;
- Clarify that the anti-tampering provisions applicable to motor vehicles do not apply to vehicles used solely for competition.
Rep. Hudson reviews his notes ahead of today’s hearing
“It would come as no surprise that EPA’s proposed racing regulations threaten the way of life for a lot of Americans who enjoy modifying cars for competition as well as a $1.6 billion a year industry,” said Rep. Hudson. “In 1990 when Congress amended the Clean Air Act, the legislation made explicit these vehicles were off limits to regulation but the EPA decided to ignore the law and targeted the racing industry anyway.”
Steve Page, President and General Manager, Sonoma Raceway, discussed his support for H.R. 350, stating, “The legislation provides assurances to businesses that produce, sell, and install race parts on vehicles used solely for motorsports competition. Further, it restores the original intent of the Clean Air Act, that the law applies to motor vehicles used on our roads and highways but not to race vehicles or racing parts.”
H.R. 453, Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act of 2017, authored by Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), would;
- Extend the deadlines for the second phase of New Source Performance Standards for new residential wood heaters.
Frank Moore, President and Owner, Hardy Manufacturing Company, Inc., threw his support behind H.R. 453, commenting, “I urge you to pass H.R. 453 and give more time to an industry that has made millions of dollars in investments to develop affordable and independent heating options for our customers, your constituents. This is a commonsense request that isn’t asking for a mountain to be moved, only the effective date of a not-yet-in-effect rule that wasn’t given enough time to come to fruition.”
Witnesses listen intently as members deliver their opening statements
H.R. 1119, Satisfying Energy Needs and Saving the Environment (SENSE) Act, authored by Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA), would;
- Provide alternative compliance options with the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and Mercury and Air Toxic Standards for coal refuse-to-energy plants.
In his testimony, Vincent Brisini, Director of Environmental Affairs, Olympus Power, LLC, said of the SENSE Act, “The SENSE Act is a reasonable, targeted effort to address the errors that EPA has made in the CSAPR and MATS rules, and is very important part of ensuring that bituminous coal refuse-fired facilities are able to continue their mission of reclaiming and recovering these mining affected lands and providing high quality, family sustaining jobs in the communities in which these facilities are located.”
H.R. 1917, Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns (BRICK) Act of 2017, authored by committee member Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), would;
- Extend the deadlines for the national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) for brick and structural clay products manufacturing or clay ceramics manufacturing. The extension would last until judicial review of the rules is completed.
Rep. Johnson spoke to the importance of brick manufacturers and the burden EPA’s regulations are having on the industry, stating, “Our small businesses in America are the backbone of our economy, we’ve known that for a long time. And brick manufacturers are a part of those small companies that we’re talking about… I think it’s a shame that the regulations we’re discussing today go after their livelihood…The brick industry has borne the brunt of an unpredictable regulatory process beginning way back in the early 2000s… I think we need a bit of pragmatism when we approach this situation, not simply give history the option to repeat itself and we need to consider the livelihood of the people that will be impacted by EPA’s most recent reiteration of the Brick Act.”
Ryan Parker, President and CEO, Endicott Clay Products, discussed his support for H.R. 1917, commenting, “The BRICK Act would allow us some time to see exactly what is needed to comply with the 2015 Brick MACT and ensure that we and others in our industry are not investing in equipment that ultimately is not needed… Let’s not repeat the past errors which could cause many small businesses in our industry to close their doors unnecessarily.”
#SubEnvironment Chair Shimkus delivers his opening statement
“Today we looked at four EPA rules and policies that are far from major but are of great concern to the small business-dominated sectors affected by them,” concluded Chairman Shimkus. “And we considered bills that make targeted changes to these policies so as to preserve jobs and investment in affected businesses and communities.”
A background memo, witness testimony, legislative text, and an archived webcast of the hearing can be found online HERE.