New Legislation Combats Overreaching EPA Regulations Impacting the Portland Cement Industry

By July 29, 2011Economy, Regulations

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers, including Reps. John Sullivan (R-OK) and Mike Ross (D-AR), introduced legislation on July 28 that would protect the cement industry from expensive and unachievable air quality regulations. According to a press release from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act (H.R. 2681) directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to “develop achievable and workable standards for the nation’s cement manufacturing facilities, replacing a series of complex rules affecting the sector that are projected to impose significant costs, and force plant shutdowns and job losses.”

Specifically, the bill addresses three rules impacting the nation’s Portland cement manufacturing facilities, including the Cement MACT rule, regulations impacting commercial and industrial solid waste incineration units and regulations impacting non-hazardous secondary materials. The Portland Cement Association (PCA) estimates the rules could cost over $5.4 billion, may cause 18 plants to shut down by 2013 and will put thousands of high-paying manufacturing and construction jobs at risk.

 Manufacturers believe this legislation is needed to rein in the EPA’s aggressive regulatory program, which will severely cripple an industry that is critical to U.S. construction and economic recovery. We urge similar action in the Senate. Just yesterday, in a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), 25 Senators called for legislative action on behalf of the cement industry.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • John W says:

    These clean air safeguards are projected to save up to 2,500 lives, and avoid over 1,500 heart attacks and over 17,000 heart attacks. Every year. Those are tangible environmental and health benefits. And this irresponsible legislation would block the protections for many years, making the bill’s co-sponsors responsible for many deaths and bouts of disease and human misery. This followed the Bush administration failing to issue overdue cleanup standards for many years, and then adopting illegal standards many years late. (The courts overturned no fewer than 5 illegal Bush air toxics standards, mostly due to the same flaws that plagued the Bush EPA cement standards.) That’s why these standards are finally being issued now in accordance with the law. These standards already are being achieved by many well-controlled cement kilns and incinerators, so to call them “unachievable” is flatly wrong. You’re entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts. Finally, recognize that EPA strongly disputes the PCA economic assertions, which are sheer alarmism. (Note the slippery use of the word “may” above, which allows PCA and this blog post to offer pretty much whatever unfounded claims they wish.)

  • This is a step in the right direction. I support clean environment manufacturing initiatives, but the EPA has forced plant closure, and high capital costs to renovate the cement industry. This added expense for the industry continues to roll down to the tax payer and customer.

  • Bryan B says:

    Excellent post. This is just another example of EPA rule that costs more U.S. jobs without providing a tangible environmental benefit.

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