Sen. Toomey Co-Sponsors Bipartisan Regulatory Reform Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) announced today that he is co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill, the EPA Regulatory Reform Act of 2011, introduced today. The bill will give the Environmental Protection Agency the time it has said it needs to adequately consider new Boiler MACT rules, as well as make additional regulatory reforms.
In April 2010, pursuant to court orders, EPA first announced new Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) regulations on many fossil fuel and biomass-fired boilers in the United States. The original public comment period on the new proposed rules closed Aug. 23, 2010. In December 2010, EPA requested a 15-month extension to rework and finalize the rule, and to receive further public comment, which was rejected by a court.
This bipartisan legislation would:
- Give EPA the 15 months it requested to re-propose and finalize the Boiler MACT regulations.
- Extend compliance deadlines from three years to at least five years, which would allow facilities adequate time to comply with the new standards. This additional time will give manufacturers the ability to spread out the costs associated with compliance.
- Clarifythat renewable and carbon-neutral materials remain classified as fuel and not solid waste. This will ensure that no materials are unnecessarily landfilled and that the energy content of many byproducts is not wasted.
- 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. The EPA's original standard for boilers was not achievable by any commercially available boiler.
"I have been very worried about what the EPA's new Boiler MACT rules will mean for Pennsylvania's manufacturing companies and their employees," Sen. Toomey said. "From paper mills, to steel mills, to many other industries, there are thousands of jobs at stake in Pennsylvania. This bill would give many manufacturers immediate relief from overreaching, burdensome regulations at a time when we need them hiring and expanding."
The bill is sponsored by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.).
In Pennsylvania, these new EPA standards would affect a number of the commonwealth's manufacturing companies and could have a devastating effect on the Pennsylvania economy. Sen. Toomey and his staff have been working closely with a number of major Pennsylvania employers, including PPG Industries, Appleton Papers, Glatfelter Paper, U.S. Steel and Domtar Paper to help alleviate these regulatory burdens.
Pennsylvania employers today praised Sen. Toomey's leadership and the new legislation:
"We appreciate Sen. Toomey's engagement and willingness to work across the aisle on this matter. The senator's work on behalf of our 464 employee-owners in Roaring Spring has been integral to addressing this regulatory burden," said Kent Willets, vice president for strategic development at Appleton Papers in Blair County.
"This bill will give us regulatory certainty and predictability. Domtar appreciates Sen. Toomey's bipartisan leadership on this issue and we look forward to working with him to protect the jobs at our facility in Elk County," said Tom Detwiler, vice president and mill manager of Domtar Paper in Elk County.
"As our nation recovers from a deep recession it is more important than ever for government to protect our environment in a thoughtful and realistic way. This bill is an important step in that direction; we appreciate Sen. Toomey's understanding of the issue and his effective advocacy for Pennsylvania businesses," said William T. Yanavitch II, vice president of human resources and administration of Glatfelter Paper in York County.
"Sen. Toomey promised to push back against excessive regulation, and we commend his bipartisan efforts to help our manufacturing facility in McKean County," said Brad Johnston, chief administrative officer of Temple-Inland in McKean County.