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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 4557 - Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns Act of 2016

March 02, 2016


(House Rules)

(Rep. Bill Johnson, R-OH, and seven cosponsors)

The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 4557, which could extend indefinitely deadlines for the brick and structural clay industry to limit mercury and other hazardous air pollution. Specifically, H.R. 4557 would extend compliance deadlines for the Brick and Structural Clay National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants until all litigation on the final rule is complete, thereby creating an incentive for parties to litigate the rulemaking and the related corrections notice for as long as possible in order to delay air pollution reductions. In the meantime, H.R. 4557 would undermine the public health protections of the Clean Air Act (CAA) by allowing further emissions of approximately 30 tons per month of toxic air pollution from brick and clay products production facilities. These toxic emissions include mercury, gases, and other hazardous metals which are associated with a variety of acute and chronic health effects, including cancers.

The CAA required the Environmental Protection Agency to finalize pollution standards for toxic air pollution from all industrial sectors by 2000. Since then, sources in many other sectors have been complying with standards that limit their emissions of cancer-causing toxic air pollutants. The subject rule reflects CAA requirements while providing flexible compliance options and the maximum time allowed by law for compliance. It also makes distinctions between requirements for small and large kilns in order to reduce the impacts on small businesses.

Since its enactment in 1970, and subsequent amendment in 1977 and 1990—each time with strong bipartisan support—the CAA has improved the Nation's air quality and protected public health. Over that same period of time, the economy has grown over 200 percent while emissions of key pollutants have decreased nearly 70 percent. Forty-five years of clean air regulation have shown that a strong economy and strong environmental and public health protection go hand?in?hand.

Because H.R. 4557 threatens the health of Americans by allowing more toxic air pollution, if the President were presented with H.R. 4557, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.

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Barack Obama, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 4557 - Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns Act of 2016 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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