The Environmental Protection Agency issued new air pollution emissions standards for industrial boilers and incinerators today, while granting some concessions and flexibility to industries that will have to comply with the new rules.
U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith sponsored legislation last year which would have required EPA to rewrite its boiler rules and give businesses more time to comply with the standards. Griffith argued that the new standards could impose excessive costs on businesses and jeopardize jobs in Southwest Virginia.
Today, Griffith said it appears the EPA listened to concerns raised last year during House Energy and Commerce Committee hearings on his bill.
“I am still studying the requirements of the new Boiler MACT regulations, but clearly the EPA was listening to testimony before the Energy and Commerce Committee on my bill, the EPA Regulatory Relief Act,” Griffith said. “While I think that American factories, hospitals, universities, and other facilities would be better off under the bill than with these new rules, I am pleased that the EPA has realized that earlier Boiler MACT regulations were unworkable. I appreciate that the EPA is showing a willingness to work with businesses making genuine efforts to comply.”
In a news release from Griffith’s office, Donna Harman, the president and CEO of the American Forest and Paper Association, said the EPA appears to have taken some of industry’s concerns into account.
“We appreciate the hard work that Rep. Griffith and his colleagues put forth to pass H.R. 2250, bringing focused bipartisan attention to such an important issue for our industry. Without his efforts, the Boiler MACT rules would have placed a more onerous financial burden on the U.S. forest products industry and the rural communities it supports,” Harman said. “As we review the rules, we hope to see those efforts reflected with a set of regulations that are affordable and achievable for facilities across the country to protect jobs and help encourage economic growth.”
More information about the EPA rules can be found here.
– Michael Sluss