Tag

EPA

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 Scott Pruitt, the nominee to be 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 opponents – and here’s why: he doesn’t view 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 with, well, everyone. 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 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, 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economy standards for automobiles 14 months before it was supposed to actually complete the rule, relying instead on outdated data.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. 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 (NHTSA), who has been issuing joint fuel economy rules with EPA since the late 2000s.

The fuel economy and GHG rules were supposed to be a shining example of how EPA, other federal agencies, states and 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, this 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, they chose politics.

A lot will be made in the coming weeks about the transition to new leadership at EPA. The NAM released a seven-figure, multistate paid advertising campaign to support the nomination of 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 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

Timmons: President-Elect Trump Signals an End to the EPA’s Regulatory Assault on Manufacturers

By | Communications, Presidents Blog, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons issued the following statement on the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator:

     “Today’s nomination signals that President-elect Donald Trump will end the EPA’s regulatory assault on manufacturers. This is the type of change manufacturers voted for, and we’re hopeful the next administration will strike the right balance between environmental stewardship and economic growth.

“Manufacturers have helped to usher in a new era of a cleaner and more sustainable environment, and we remain as committed as ever to reducing emissions, improving our energy efficiency, recycling more and reducing waste. As a sector, we have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent since 2005, while our value added to the economy has increased by 19 percent over the same time period.

“We look forward to working with President-elect Trump and Scott Pruitt, once confirmed as administrator, to build on this past success. We believe the EPA can drive continued environmental quality improvements, while reducing overreaching, inflexible federal policies that threaten manufacturing’s competitiveness. Many of the largest and costliest regulations issued over the past several years have come from the EPA.

“Manufacturing innovation remains the best solution to addressing climate change and most of the environmental challenges facing the country and world.”

CONTACT: Jennifer Drogus, (202) 637-3090

Appeals Court Is Inundated with Waters Arguments

By | Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action, Shopfloor Legal | No Comments

Last year, the Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action filed our lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over their expansive interpretation of their jurisdiction to require permits for the use of a wide variety of land across the country. More than 150 other business organizations, states and other groups have also challenged the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule in various courts, and many of these challenges, including ours, have been consolidated in one federal appellate courtthe Sixth Circuit. Some of this background, and the justification for our litigation, is summarized in this post from February.

Two key events have happened recently. First, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) asked the Supreme Court in September to review a splintered decision from the Sixth Circuit that allows that court to continue to hear arguments in the case, despite a widely held view among lawyers that the Clean Water Act requires the case to be heard by a trial court, not an appeals court, in the first instance. The administration will be filing its response next Monday. If the court agrees to review this issue, considerable time and effort could be saved in trying to resolve the underlying merits of the challenges to the WOTUS rule.

Second, today, business and municipal groups filed a detailed 93-page brief describing point by point the numerous concerns of all the petitioners about the rule. The brief contains textbook examples of arguments that are all too frequently made about government regulations: the rule was promulgated in violation of basic principles of notice-and-comment rulemaking, the agencies failed to comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the rule is inconsistent with the statutory language of the statute (the Clean Water Act), the rule is unconstitutionally vague, and it violates the Commerce Clause and federalism principles. There are also more unusual arguments arising from EPA’s “covert propaganda” efforts in support of the rule.

Courts give agencies considerable deference when interpreting their statutory authority, but the Supreme Court has weighed in several times to try to provide some constitutional limits on the EPA’s jurisdiction, and a significant part of our brief is dedicated to it. The brief argues that the agencies relied too heavily on Justice Kennedy’s concurring opinion in the Rapanos case, which cannot be reconciled with the other justices’ views in the way attempted by the EPA. The EPA’s approach brings into its jurisdiction countless features that lack the volume of flow and proximity needed to ensure that effects on navigable waters are more than insubstantial or speculative.

The scope of the agencies’ jurisdiction is one of the most fundamental issues affecting the regulation of land use in the United States. Today’s brief brings us one step closer to resolving the allocation of regulatory power among federal, state and local governments.

Federal Court Rules the EPA Must Consider Job Losses from Its Regs

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

This afternoon, Judge John Preston Bailey of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unlawfully ignored its duty under Section 321 of the Clean Air Act to evaluate potential and actual job loss from its regulations. The agency has rolled out tens of billions of dollars worth of new air regulations on electric utilities, energy producers, manufacturers, vehicles and other sources and readily admits it had not done a single one of these mandatory job loss evaluations before finalizing any of those regulations.

The purpose of requirements like Section 321 is to get better regulations, the kind that achieve their environmental goals while preserving a strong economy. And while the EPA made this promise virtually every time it issued a new regulation, the facts show that it never even bothered to do a Section 321 analysis any of those times. The court gave the EPA two weeks to do a Section 321 job loss analysis for the coal industry, which has faced a regulatory burden heavier than perhaps any other sector over the past decade.

Manufacturers are pleased to see that the EPA will now have to properly evaluate the impact of its regulations on jobs. ‎We are disappointed that this order comes years after the regulations at issue went final and at a time when the companies regulated have already started complying. We hope the EPA will comply with the law and routinely do job loss studies for each of its major new regulations before they are proposed, to ensure a better regulatory process.

Court Ruling Pushes EPA Toward More Regulation

By | Energy, Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action, Shopfloor Legal, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

Government agencies have a tremendous advantage when it comes to defending new regulations in court. Judges start with a legal presumption that not only gives the benefit of the doubt to the agency, but sets a very high bar for reversing rules that most people might not have issued. As long as an agency’s rules are authorized by statute and not clearly erroneous or otherwise an abuse of discretion, courts will accept them.

That’s what the D.C. Circuit did today when it largely upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rules on boilers and incinerators. All of the challenges to the rules by the Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action and other business organizations were rejected by the appellate court. The court upheld one EPA requirement that could not be met by any small, remote incinerator or heavy oil-fired boiler in use today. It similarly rejected industry complaints about new energy assessment and recordkeeping requirements, as well as concerns about compliance with the rules when equipment malfunctions despite full compliance with regulations and due diligence by operators.

What is unusual is that the court agreed with several arguments made by environmental groups. It ordered the EPA to issue a regulation for cyclonic burn barrels and to decide whether certain other incinerators must be regulated under the Clean Air Act. The court also ordered the agency to provide further explanations about the decisions it made not to regulate emissions of a certain hazardous pollutant (non-dioxin/furan organic pollutant), about why certain exemptions should be allowed and about why it declined to regulate certain non-mercury emissions.

The bottom line is the court upheld all of the EPA’s regulations and ordered the agency to cover even more than it did, or at least give a full explanation of why it won’t.

Will You Stand with Us to Reform Regulation?

By | Presidents Blog, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

35,000. That’s the cost of federal regulations endured by a small manufacturer with fewer than 50 employees—per year, per employee!

I think we can all agree: this isn’t the way our regulatory system should work. It is time for real reform.

That’s why the National Association of Manufacturers, in partnership with the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, is launching a project called Rethink Red Tape to bring the regulatory issue to life for lawmakers in Washington and provide real momentum for reform.

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Regulations are important, but the constant churn of new and misguided rules leads to regulations that are counterproductive, contradictory and next to impossible to understand. That’s especially hard for small business owners who don’t have the resources to keep pace with new regulations and absorb their higher costs.

Layers of excessive regulations hurt manufacturers’ ability to invest in new innovations, and our entire economy suffers as a result.

To correct this and enable American manufacturers and small businesses to grow and create jobs, regulatory reform has to be a bipartisan priority. Transparency, accountability and honest evaluations of small business costs need to be part of our government’s regulatory calculus. Too often, this is the exception and not the rule.

Through Rethink Red Tape, we’re working to change that, but we need your help to make this work. We need you to stand with us.

Rethink Red Tape will bring personal viewpoints and real-life stories to the conversation to explain the impact regulations have on small firms and the hours and opportunities manufacturers lose because of them.

As our program grows, we’ll identify and advance bipartisan solutions that will change the way regulations are written and give small businesses a stronger voice in the process.

Join us at www.RethinkRedTape.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

Manufacturers Need Flexibility in EPA Risk Management Plan Proposal

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Chemicals are an essential part of our everyday lives, and manufacturers prudently engage in risk management planning and invest in security as a necessary component of their business operations and to assure customer confidence. Manufacturers are committed to protecting the environment and the health and safety of their workers and communities. We are growing concerned, however, with some of the new requirements in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed revisions to its Risk Management Program, which deals with onsite storage of chemicals at manufacturing facilities.

The new standards will impact manufacturers in numerous sectors, including pulp and paper; refining; chemical manufacturing; wholesalers; iron and steel; pharmaceuticals; fertilizers; coal products; food manufacturing; plastics; cement; and energy producers and utilities. Read More