Wicker Introduces Bill to Block Harmful Regulations

‘BRICK Act’ Would Halt Regulatory Interference Until Completion of Legal Review

April 5, 2017

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today introduced a bill to halt the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2015 national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants for the brick, clay, and tile industries, and allow for the consideration and completion of any judicial review regarding the standards prior to compliance.

This legislation, titled the “Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns (BRICK) Act,” would address serious concerns associated with the burdensome Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) rule reissued in 2015 for brick and structural clay manufacturers.

“EPA has a record of imposing unnecessary and costly rules on job creators,” Wicker said. “Until the Justice Department finishes reviewing the agency’s onerous standards, complying with this rule should not be required. Companies have already spent millions of dollars reducing emissions based on regulations that were later overturned. This legislation would keep that from happening this time around.”

In 2003, EPA finalized the original MACT rule for the brick and structural clay ceramics manufacturing industry, which required brick companies to comply by installing new equipment to help control emissions. In 2007, after companies spent more than $100 million on these controls, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated the rule.

In September 2015, EPA finalized a new revised rule that uses the emission reductions achieved by the control devices installed under the vacated 2003 rule as the baseline for further emission reduction requirements. The agency’s new rule does not give the industry credit for the reductions already achieved.

EPA regulations increasingly overstep boundaries of the law, forcing manufacturers and stakeholders to turn to the courts for relief. Compliance deadlines for disputed regulations are often too short for the legal process to run its course. Manufacturers must make investments in order to comply with rules that may be thrown out by courts. Brick manufacturers have found themselves in this situation with this regulation.

Ohio Representative Bill Johnson today introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives. The National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce support the BRICK Act, which is cosponsored by Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and James Inhofe, R-Okla.