Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Chamber of Commerce releases report on EPA and OSHA regulatory impact on brick makers

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a report last week that highlights the combined impacts of two new and proposed regulations on the brick-making industry, which is primarily composed of small businesses.

“Bureaucrats in Washington walk down Pennsylvania Avenue on bricks made by small, family-owned businesses without care for the companies and workers being destroyed by their careless regulations,” Chamber SVP of Environment, Technology and Regulatory Affairs William Kovacs said. “This report shows that it’s not just the large rules that affect American industry. With access to funding difficult for so many, even relatively obscure regulations can force small manufacturers to shutter their operations.”

The report, “Regulatory Indifference Hurts Vulnerable Communities,” addresses the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new air toxics standard, or the Brick MACT rule, which the Brick Industry Association estimates could cost up $100 million a year for compliance across the industry. It also focuses on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) silica permissible exposure limit (PEL), which the administration is proposing to lower.

“For workers in local communities, particularly those employed by small businesses, new regulations developed using a ‘one size fits all’ model are a big problem,” Whitacre Greer Company President, CEO and Chairman of the Board Janet Whitacre Kaboth, whose clay product business has been in operation since 1916, said. “Federal agencies cannot simply assume that companies can afford to comply with regulatory requirements; that companies will be able to comply; or that the benefits of a rule will make it worthwhile. They need to understand the local impacts of their rule on real people whose lives may be ruined by losing their job.”

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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