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Inhofe, Vitter, Sessions Caution EPA on Costs to Brick MACT Regulations

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, July 2, US Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Chairman of the US Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee; David Vitter (R-Louisiana.), Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure EPW Subcommitte; and Jeff Sessions (R-AL), sent a letter today to US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy requesting that the Agency to consider regulatory costs and feasibility in EPA’s upcoming proposed rule to regulate mercury and particulate metal emissions from brick plants and to delay issuing the regulations until reasonable data demonstrates that there is actually any need for the new standard.

The Senators said in a letter, “Standards resulting in costly and anticipated control technology must demonstrate that any costs create commensurate benefits. That does not appear to be the case here. Instead, EPA’s Brick MACT regulations may shutter numerous brick manufacturing facilities. Should the EPA continue to ignore alternative methods and trust their proposal with minimal data, roughly one-third of the small businesses that make up the brick industry could go bankrupt or be forced to consolidate operations, costing countless jobs.”

According to Sen. Sessions office the EPA intends to impose a numeric mercury emissions limitation for mercury in the final Brick MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) rule, “Instead of establishing commonsense, appropriate work practices. Currently, EPA data fails to demonstrate that the required controls are technically sound or successful in capturing mercury emissions.”

Last week the US Supreme Court rebuked the EPA for its mercury emissions standards imposed on American power plants without taking the economic costs versus rewards into account when making these decisions.

Alabama Public Service Commissioner Chris “Chip” Beeker, Jr. (R) wrote a statement on Monday regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling in Michigan v. EPA.: “Today’s Supreme Court ruling against President Obama’s Carbon Tax was a victory for Alabama jobs, but the fight against the overreaching federal government and its attacks on our businesses is far from over. The EPA continues to push an environmental agenda with little regard for the price tag these regulations would impose on employers.”

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Congressman Gary Palmer said in a recent statement. “I will continue to work in Congress to reign in the EPA when they overreach on environmental policy.”

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Alabama joined Michigan one of the plaintiffs in this landmark case.

Bricks are a very important part of the construction industry.

Senator Jeff Sessions was reelected last year without any opposition.

 

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