U.S. Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) announced bipartisan legislation that would extend the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) national emission standards timeline for brick, clay, and tile producers for up to two years. The legislation would ensure businesses have the necessary time and certainty to make the significant investments needed to comply with the EPA rules.
The Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns (BRICK) Act would require existing brick and structural clay manufacturers to begin compliance with the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) rule beginning two years after judicial review of the rule is complete. The bill would, however, limit the compliance date extension to December 26, 2020 and, in the event of a court decision that overturns EPA’s rule, the legislation would require EPA to finalize a follow up rule within one year. The compromise would ensure that businesses have the time and certainty they need to comply while ensuring that those investments in clean air technology are made in a timely manner.
Donnelly said, “As Hoosiers work to implement new technologies designed to promote clean air, it is also important to ensure that we develop regulations that are narrowly tailored and provide businesses with the certainty they need to invest. The bipartisan compromise that I developed with Senator Wicker would give brick manufacturers the certainty they need before they make significant investments to reduce the environmental impact of their operations.”
Wicker said, “Over the past several years, EPA has taken aggressive action to impose a series of costly and burdensome requirements on brick and ceramics manufacturers with little consideration for the devastating impacts these increasingly strict regulations have had on domestic producers and employers. This legislation would help protect companies who have already taken great strides toward reducing their environmental footprint, and it would keep them from having to implement even more costly and disruptive technologies before a judicial review of the new rules.”
Paul Samples, CEO of Meridian Brick in Terre Haute, said, “I would like to thank Sen. Donnelly for his work. His leadership on this issue in the Senate has given us hope that Washington is listening and is as equally concerned with the future of the American brick industry as I am. Sen. Donnelly’s new legislation would afford us, and other plants in the state and around the country, a responsible and reasonable extension to compliance so that we may have a clear regulatory target unencumbered by litigation from outside entities. Meridian Brick strongly supports the revised BRICK Act introduced by Sens. Wicker and Donnelly.”