Tag: Boiler MACT

Studies Confirm the Negative Economic Impact of Boiler MACT Rules

The American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA) and the Council of Industrial Boiler Owners (CIBO) released studies last week which show that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Boiler MACT rules will cost jobs and hurt economic growth.

The AF&PA press release on its study states that, “as many as 36 mills across the country and more than 20,000 primary pulp and paper industry jobs would be at risk of elimination due to the costs of implementing . . . pending Boiler MACT and other air regulations . . .”

CIBO’s study examines 26 industry sectors concluding that, “the final Major Source Boiler MACT Rule for Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) boilers and process heaters could put more than 230,000 existing jobs at risk.”  According to the CIBO press release , manufacturers will spend approximately $14.3 billion to comply with the rules. This is capital that could be used to grow and expand businesses at a time when we desperately need to be creating new jobs.

The impact of the implementation of these rules on the manufacturing community cannot be marginalized in light of our ongoing struggles for economic recovery. By imposing this suite of MACT rules, the EPA will continue constraining manufacturers, the engine of economy, from both maintaining existing jobs and creating new ones.

That is why the NAM continues to urge Congressional support of S. 1392 and H.R. 2250, the EPA Regulatory Relief Act. This legislation will stay the entire suite of rules while providing the EPA with more time to make these regulations achievable in practice.

Alicia Meads is director of energy and resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers.

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House Previews Regulatory Rollback Agenda

Congress remains in recess until after Labor Day, but today House majority leadership sheds some light on its upcoming agenda.  A key part of that agenda: rolling back regulations that are hurting job growth.

The House plans to hold one vote a week to repeal harmful regulations.  First up is a vote on the Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act (H.R. 2587), which will prevent the National Labor Relations Board from dictating where an employer can do business. (Votes on other pieces of the NLRB’s agenda are possible later in the year.)

Also, on the docket are the various MACT rules—Boiler MACT, Utility MACT and Cement MACT.  These environmental regulations will hit manufacturers with huge compliance costs and hurt U.S. competitiveness.

The United States is already an expensive place to do business—18 percent more expensive than other industrialized nations—and new regulations will only make it more so.

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Senators Introduce Bipartisan Legislation Pushing Back on EPA’s Boiler MACT Rules

Today, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced bipartisan legislation that would stay the current Boiler MACT regulations. These regulations would stifle economic growth and threaten tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs. The National Association of Manufacturers joined a number of organizations, sending a letter to the Senate in support of this bipartisan legislation.

Senators Collins and Wyden issued a press release outlining the legislation, which will delay the costly and burdensome regulations, providing ample time for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to craft a realistic and achievable final rule.

Specifically, this legislation would:

  • Ensure the rules are stayed for an adequate and certain period, as the EPA’s current administrative stay is being challenged;
  • Allow the EPA adequate time to re-propose the rules and get them right, including time for stakeholders to conduct more emissions testing and to avoid mistakes that occur when rulemakings of this scope and importance are rushed and become vulnerable to legal challenge;
  • Provide direction and support for the EPA to use the discretion it already has under the Clean Air Act and Executive Order 13563 to add flexibility and make the rules achievable;
  • Clarify that various materials, such as biomass residuals, are fuels and that certain gases in manufacturing processes do not result in boilers being treated as incinerators; and,
  • Give facilities more time to comply with the complex and capital-intensive requirements of the rules.

This bill is similar to H.R. 2250, the EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011, bipartisan legislation introduced earlier this month in the House of Representatives.

At a time of record unemployment, the last thing manufacturers need to face are excessive regulations that will increase the cost of doing business and diminish their ability to successfully compete in the global marketplace.

If the EPA continues to pursue its aggressive regulatory agenda on the Boiler MACT rules, manufacturers will be unable to make future investments, create jobs, and spur economic growth during a time when these actions are needed most.

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Boiler MACT Legislation Introduced in House

Today, in response to growing concerns of unrealistic regulations on Boiler MACT, a bipartisan group of Representatives introduced H.R. 2250, the EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011.  The legislation has four Democratic co-sponsors including Representatives Butterfield (NC-01), Barrow (GA-12), Ross (AR-04), and Matheson (UT-02), and four Republican co-sponsors including  Representatives Griffith (VA-09), McMorris Rodgers (WA-05), Scalise (LA-01), and Olson (TX-22).

H.R. 2250 would:

  • Stay the four final rules and provide the EPA with at least 15 months to re-propose and finalize new rules;
  • 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 the EPA, when developing the new rules, to adopt definitions that allow sources to use a wide range of alternative fuels; and
  • Direct the 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.

In addition to petitioning the EPA for an Administrative stay of the rules, the NAM has also advocated on Capitol Hill for a legislative stay and additional time to re-propose the rules. The NAM will work to obtain additional cosponsors on this legislation in the coming weeks.

Read more in today’s coverage on H.R. 2250:

National Journal: House Pushes Boiler Standards Bill; Action Uncertain in Senate
New York Times:  New House Bill Would Delay Air Pollution Rules for Boilers
The Hill: House Lawmakers Float Bill to Delay, Alter EPA Boiler Rule

Alicia Meads is Director of Energy and Natural Resources Policy at the National Association of Manufacturers

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EPA Delays Overreaching and Costly Rule on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Less than a month after the EPA announced a stay on the excessive and burdensome Boiler MACT rule, the EPA confirmed though a spokesman that there will be another delay on a proposed rule placing restrictions on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from power plants.

Coverage of the delay:

Manufacturers are pleased to see that various rules containing unrealistic regulations are being delayed and that industry voices are receiving more attention. The announcement of the Boiler MACT stay and the delay of the draft power plant rules show that the EPA is listening to the concerns of job creators on the impact of the regulations they seek to implement.

Although the EPA announced that the final rule is still on schedule to be published in May of 2012, this delay signals a step in the right direction. Rushed and unattainable proposals are unacceptable to the business community and the American people. Additionally, they are counterintuitive to job creation and economic growth.

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In Rare Sign of Regulatory Restraint, EPA Delays Boiler Rules

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced a delay in news standards for industrial boilers, a sign the agency recognizes its earlier regulatory proposal would have hammered manufacturers, the economy, and employers’ ability to create jobs.

From the EPA’s update page, a fact sheet.

  • The agency is reconsidering the standards because the public did not have sufficient opportunity to comment on these changes, and, as a result, further public review and feedback is required to meet the legal obligations under the Clean Air Act.
  • EPA is also issuing a stay to delay the effective date of the standards for major source boilers and commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators. The stay will allow the agency to seek additional public comment before requiring thousands of facilities across multiple, diverse industries to make investments that may not be reversible if the standards are revised following reconsideration and a full evaluation of all relevant data.
  • The stay will remain in place until the proceedings for judicial review of these rules are completed or EPA completes its reconsideration of the standards, whichever is earlier.

In its story, “EPA to Postpone Boiler Rules Amid Industry Group Complaints,” Bloomberg cites an e-mail from the National Association of Manufacturers: “This will alleviate job creators from burdensome and costly regulations while the EPA goes through the reconsideration process…[and] removes a level of uncertainty found among manufactures that has discouraged future investment and job growth.”

The NAM, American Forest and Paper Association and numerous other business groups filed a motion with the EPA  for an administrative stay in April.

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Manufacturers Urge the EPA to Reconsider the Problematic Boiler Rules

The National Association of Manufacturers and ten other trade associations today filed a reconsideration petition on the Boiler MACT suite of rules, urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to “get it right” on the rules affecting the largest emitting boilers (MACT), smaller emitting boilers (GACT) and the solid waste incinerator (CISWI) portions of the regulation.* The petition highlights specific problems with the achievability of the rule that are still of major concern to manufacturers. If unresolved, these damaging provisions will hurt manufacturers’ competitiveness causing additional job loss in today’s tough economy.

 Specifically, these issues include:

  • the establishment of dioxin/furan emission limits that relied on a small amount of data that are largely below detection limits;
  • the achievability of many of the new source limits, the solid fuel particulate matter, CO, and dioxin/furan new source limits; and
  • improperly revised definitions which could reclassify boilers – already subject to MACT standards – as solid waste incineration units.

 In addition to this reconsideration petition, the NAM and other manufacturing groups also submitted a Petition for Administrative Stay  on April 27 which urges the EPA to stop the rule from taking effect while the reconsideration process continues. The stay, if granted, would provide manufacturers with the certainty they need to make business decisions pending the final outcome of the reconsideration of the rule.

* MACT – Maximum Achievable Control Technology

GACT – Generally Achievable Control Technology

CISWI – Commerical / Industrial Solid Waste Incinerators

 

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Circumnavigating News of the National Association of Manufacturers

Editor’s note: We changed the headline at 2:30 p.m. from “Circumventing … ” to “Circumnavigating,” our usual term for an “Around the Web” feature. While we occasionally vent, we try not to circumvent.

Reporters covered the petition filed by the National Association of Manufacturers and other business groups against the Environmental Protection Agency’s Boiler MACT and incinerator waste regulations, reported yesterday the NAM’s Alicia Meads at Shopfloor, “Manufacturers Petition EPA for Stay of Boiler, Incineration Rules.”

From Voice of America, “Delay in US Law to Combat Africa’s Conflict Minerals Sharpens Divisions“:

This month, without giving any reason, the SEC postponed announcement of the new rules to between August and December.

A representative of the U.S. National Association of Manufacturers, Stephen Jacobs, called the delay awkward.  He also called for a transitional phase of the law and less rigorous demands.

“The SEC should create a category such as indeterminate origin as a temporary, let me emphasize temporary, measure for products manufactured or produced with conflict minerals that issuers are unable in the first years of their program, despite their best efforts, to determine the origin,” said Jacobs.

Here’s the NAM’s ManuFact on conflict minerals and the SEC’s troublesome proposal. (continue reading…)

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Manufacturers Petition EPA for Stay of Boiler, Incineration Rules

The National Association of Manufacturers and several other trade associations representing a broad range of industries petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency today for an immediate stay of the Boiler MACT rule affecting industrial boilers and the rule establishing stricter emissions limits on Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incineration Units (CISWI). The petition is here.

As the broad range of industries supporting this stay – as well as EPA’s own impact analyses – make clear, these rules have the potential of doing economic harm by imposing enormous additional costs on key industrial sectors.  The petition also states that the NAM and other associations intend to seek reconsideration of the rule and will soon provide the EPA with detailed reconsideration requests.

We believe that during the reconsideration process that the EPA must take the time to ensure that the rules achieve necessary environmental goals while minimizing the impact on U.S. competitiveness. Furthermore, even as the EPA takes that necessary time, it should not mandate that companies invest in potentially unnecessary compliance expenditures. During the period leading up to and including reconsideration — which could last a year or more — thousands of existing facilities would otherwise be forced to make major investments in compliance measures that ultimately may prove unnecessary.

The rules also immediately and adversely affect new facilities and force companies to make crucial decisions regarding plant upgrades or shutdowns, all of which may be undone depending on the reconsideration process. The NAM believes the EPA should stay the rules in their entirety until the reconsideration process is complete. This will give manufacturers the certainty they need to make investments in their businesses and create jobs.

Alicia Meads is the NAM’s director for energy and resource policy.

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When the EPA Targets Boilers, Cement Manufacturing, Utilities

House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power is holding the fifth day of its hearing on “The American Energy Initiative” this morning focusing onrecent EPA rule makings on boilers, cement manufacturing plants and utilities.

In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield highlighted the impact on manufacturers of the EPA’s rules on industrial boilers, aka Boiler MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology):

Thousands of power plants and facilities depend on affordable energy from boilers. That includes paper mills, refineries, and chemical plants, schools and hospitals. Literally millions of jobs rely on affordable energy from these facilities, and those jobs are put at risk if those boilers can no longer be installed and run in a cost effective manner.

And where manufacturing is concerned, we live in a global economy and need to be mindful that regulations that disproportionately raise the cost of building and operating boilers in the U.S. may chase manufacturing activity and jobs overseas. And as is so often the case with EPA regulations, few if any other nations have any desire to go down the same costly path as with these new boiler regulations.

That is why EPA’s extremely stringent regulations are worrisome, especially given the state of the economy. And that is why easing compliance is so crucial to the economic recovery.

Among those testifying Dirk J. Krouskop, vice president for safety, health and environment at MeadWestvaco, the major packaging company. Krouskop also emphasized the economic impact of the Boiler MACT rules, of great concern to the forest products and paper industry, while detailing the many other regulations that have affected the industry’s growth and global competitiveness. From his written statement:

We know that the current wave of regulations is unsustainable. Living with such an uncertain regulatory environment not only costs current jobs, but also prevents new jobs from being created. (continue reading…)

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