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EPA

EPA Hears Manufacturers’ Concerns and Delays Risk Management Program Rule

By | Shopfloor Legal | No Comments

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new Risk Management Program (RMP) rule, published on January 13, 2017, revised an existing rule designed to reduce chemical hazards and related accidental releases. The rule imposes various recordkeeping, auditing, disclosure and mitigation mandates under the Clean Air Act on companies that handle various chemicals, which include many manufacturing companies. The new requirements were not adequately evaluated or justified by the Obama administration, and we have been working with the EPA under the Trump administration to improve some of these problems.

For example, the rule raises significant security concerns from required disclosures of hazardous material information and compliance issues that will cause irreparable harm to manufacturers by requiring them to make available sensitive information that could expose plant vulnerabilities. The rule also imposes costly audit requirements for “each covered process” without justification, and the agency failed to conduct an adequate assessment of the costs and benefits.

On February 28, the NAM and other industry associations submitted to the EPA a petition for reconsideration of the RMP, and the agency agreed to meet with us the following week to listen to our concerns.

The NAM and industry groups also filed a lawsuit on March 13 in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, asking the court to review the validity of the Obama administration’s action implementing changes to the RMP rule under the Clean Air Act. Later that same day, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a 90-day delay of the effective date of the RMP rule. This will give the agency time to review our concerns and will temporarily suspend the compliance burden.

We are pleased that the EPA listened to manufacturers’ issues with the new rule and that it agreed to delay the effective date. This delay gives the EPA time to reconsider and review the rule’s requirements, without imposing unnecessary confusion and compliance costs on manufacturers.

The Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action will continue to monitor developments affecting manufacturers and provide regular updates. Please do not hesitate to contact NAM Associate General Counsel Leland Frost at lfrost@nam.org with any questions.

PRESS RELEASE: President Trump Hits the Reset Button on Auto Emissions Rule

By | Environment, Shopfloor Main, Transportation | No Comments

Timmons: Let’s Get CAFE Correct for Manufacturers and Consumers

Today, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) commended President Donald Trump for announcing that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) would reconsider an EPA midnight regulation impacting automobile fuel economy requirements and emissions standards, or the program known as the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards. In doing so, the president committed to restoring the midterm review of emissions standards that uses the best available data. This has been a key manufacturing priority outlined in the NAM’s “Competing to Win” agenda, to ensure smart, balanced and effective regulations with input from a range of stakeholders. Read More

House Science Committee to Advance Important Legislation on EPA Transparency and Public Engagement

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Tomorrow, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology will hold a meeting to mark up two pieces of legislation: the Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act of 2017 (the HONEST Act), introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), and the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act (the SAB Reform Act), introduced by Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK). Manufacturers have long supported the SAB Reform Act and the HONEST Act’s predecessor, the Secret Science Reform Act, and we look forward to working with the committee to advance these important bills.

The SAB Reform Act would modernize the policies and procedures governing the SAB of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure that the SAB is best equipped to provide independent, transparent and balanced reviews of the science the EPA uses to guide its regulatory decisions. Manufacturers support policies that favor markets, adhere to sound principles of science and risk assessment and are informed by a public rule-making process that is open and inclusive. The SAB serves a quality control function for the science the EPA uses to justify new regulations; this bill helps strengthen the SAB so that it can be completely neutral in carrying out its duties.

The HONEST Act would require the EPA to make its underlying science and data sufficiently publicly available such that independent analysis can substantially reproduce the results. The public should have the ability to scrutinize the data behind regulations and verify the information (provided, of course, that confidential business information is sufficiently protected). This will create a more transparent regulatory system that will create better outcomes from the regulatory process.

Manufacturers support the EPAs mission and strive to work collaboratively with the agency to achieve shared goals of environmental protection and a strong economy. We look forward to working with the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology to advance this legislation and improve transparency and public input.

NAM Key-Votes Congressional Resolution of Disapproval on Methane Rule

By | Environment, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

National Association of Manufacturers Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse issued the following key-vote letter in support of H. J. Res. 36, providing for congressional disapproval of the rule submitted by the Bureau of Land Management relating to waste prevention, production subject to royalties and resource conservation.

KVL H.J.Res 36

 

Ozone Implementation Relief Bill Introduced in House and Senate

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Last week, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) introduced the bipartisan Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 (S. 263/H.R. 806), legislation to provide much-needed relief and flexibility to manufacturers in implementing the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 ozone rule. The bill offers a balanced approach that ensures continued air-quality improvements, while giving states and manufacturers the flexibility necessary to limit some of the economic growth restrictions that exist under the current regulation. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) key-voted similar legislation in the House during the 114th Congress, which the House passed on June 8, 2016, by a vote of 234–177. Read More

Manufacturers Support Rollback of RMP Rule

By | Environment, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Manufacturers strongly support Rep. Markwayne Mullin’s (R-OK) Disapproval Petition under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: Risk Management Programs under the Clean Air Act (RMP rule). The National Association of Manufacturers has long expressed concerns over the EPA’s proposed and, ultimately, final approach in this rule, which will create significant additional burdens without any safety benefits. The EPA’s RMP rule will overlap and conflict with other federal programs designed to promote safety and security, meaning that the EPA’s proposal will be duplicative and add regulatory burdens for manufacturers—and likely inconsistencies—with no additional benefits. In addition, the disclosure requirements raise concerns related to sensitive business and security data, which could actually threaten facility security.

Manufacturers support the CRA Disapproval Petition offered by Rep. Mullin and look forward to working with him, the other cosponsors and the rest of Congress to ensure this legislation makes it to the president’s desk for his signature.

 

 

The Other Side of the Story That You Didn’t Hear

By | Environment, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

I was struck by The New York Times article on Okla. Attorney General Scott Pruitt, the nominee to be Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, and the settlement of a long-simmering Arkansas poultry runoff case. I encourage you to take a look at a very different side of the story and its impact here.

It’s fascinating to see the nature of the criticism being leveled against Mr. Pruitt by environmental groups, former EPA administrators and other opponentsand here’s why: he doesn’t view the EPA’s role, and his potential role as administrator, the same way they do. He’s different. And they don’t like it.

But shouldn’t he be different? Shouldn’t he represent change from the status quo? Voters just elected Donald Trump president, in large part, because he pledged to be a disruptor, to dramatically change the way the federal government interacts withwell, everyone. The EPA is no exception. Read More

EPA Midterm Review of Fuel Economy Standards the Latest Example of Why Change Is Needed

By | Environment, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Until recently, the automobile industry’s work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on fuel economy standards had been a great example of how a federal agency and a regulated industry can put politics aside and work together toward a common goal.

Today, the EPA chose to make it political.

The agency jammed through a midnight regulation locking in fuel economy standards for automobiles 14 months before it was supposed to actually complete the rule, relying instead on outdated data. The agency also drastically cut short the opportunity for meaningful public comment and technical review, giving stakeholders less than 30 days from publication in the Federal Register. The EPA also appears to have skipped federal oversight or review by the Office of Management and Budget and excluded the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has been issuing joint fuel economy rules with the EPA since the late 2000s.

The fuel economy and greenhouse gas rules were supposed to be a shining example of how the EPA, other federal agencies, states and the industry can work together to drive environmental progress, technological innovation and economic growth. While more work was, and is, needed to fully realize that vision, the EPA had a chance to ride off into the sunset having built the framework for a collaborative model that could have lasted several more administrations. Instead, it chose politics.

A lot will be made in the coming weeks about the transition to new leadership at the EPA. The NAM released a seven-figure, multistate paid advertising campaign to support the nomination of Okla. Attorney General Scott Pruitt for EPA administrator. When manufacturers and others note their optimism at the prospect of more balance, better process and more reasonable outcomes, it’s actions like today’s by the EPA that motivate a lot of those feelings.

Trump EPA Should Take Hard Look at New Mining Financial Assurance Rule

By | Energy, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Eliminating wasteful and unnecessary regulations has been a cornerstone of President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign and transition to the White House. Manufacturers are encouraged by the prospect of a more balanced regulatory approach that streamlines requirements and removes duplicative policies that do not enhance public safety or environmental protection. Read More

Manufacturers Look to New Administration for Relief from Latest EPA Midnight Regulation

By | Energy, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

On December  21, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final update to the Risk Management Program, a regulation that deals with on-site storage of chemicals at manufacturing facilities. Manufacturers support measures that ensure chemicals are stored safely. However, todays update would add burdensome and often duplicative requirements on manufacturers, including new compliance hurdles that will disproportionately hurt small rural businesses, while doing little, if anything, to improve safety.  Read More