Washington, D.C.-Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, signed a letter today with Republicans and Democrats expressing concern about the Environmental Protection Agency's "Boiler MACT" rule covering commercial and industrial boilers. The proposed rule, which the agency must finalize under a court-ordered deadline by February 21, has incurred widespread, bipartisan opposition over requirements that are unachievable for, among others, manufacturers, universities, and municipalities that use boilers to power their facilities. Such requirements put thousands of jobs at risk and could force many manufacturing plants to close their doors.
"What this letter says, in essence," Sen. Inhofe said, "is that Congress stands ready to assist the agency to produce a rule that lowers emissions without putting jobs and manufacturing plants across the country at risk."
The text of the letter follows:
February 18, 2011
Administrator Lisa Jackson
USEPA Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
Dear Administrator Jackson:
We are writing with regard to the January 20, 2011, decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that denied the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) request for a 15-month extension to promulgate Maximum Achievable Control Technology standards to control the emissions from commercial and industrial boilers (Boiler MACT). We remain concerned about the vulnerability of small and large businesses-as well as municipalities, universities and federal facilities-to excessive and expensive regulatory burdens. It is critical that the final rule include standards achievable by boilers in real-world operating conditions. The rule should protect public health while fostering economic recovery and sustaining jobs.
While we were encouraged by EPA's recent statement that the "standards will be significantly different than what we [EPA] proposed in April 2010," given that the court granted the agency a mere 30 days to finalize the rule, we are seriously concerned about whether EPA has sufficient time to complete the necessary improvements to the rule.
We stand ready to assist you in finding a reasonable solution, one that allows EPA to craft new rules that are achievable and protective of public health without sacrificing economic recovery and manufacturing jobs. In order to help us find the appropriate solution in a timely manner, we would appreciate your prompt response.