Kristina Baum (EPW) – 202.224.6176

Donelle Harder (EPW) – 202.224.4721


Bicameral Leaders Challenge EPA’s Rule on Air Emissions in the Ceramic Tile Industry

WASHINTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn), vice chairman of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, today led a bicameral letter with 18 other members of Congress, which included three committee and subcommittee chairmen, to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Adm. Gina McCarthy challenging the agency’s National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Clay Ceramics Manufacturing rule:

“In this draft rule, EPA proposes to regulate 'major sources' of air emissions in the ceramic tile industry, even though EPA admits in the preamble that there are no major sources in this industry to regulate.  EPA even admits that, because these regulations will regulate no one, they have no environmental benefits – an admission that acknowledges the needlessness of this proposed regulation,” the congressional leaders said in the letter. 

In the letter, the members highlighted that voluntary action by the tile industry to reduce emissions has resulted in all ceramic tile manufacturing facilities in the country remaining below the major source threshold. This success was achieved four years earlier than if industry had waited for EPA to issue a major source NESHAP. The members also noted that there are no major sources of air emissions in the ceramic tile industry, leaving EPA to propose its rule based on hypothetical manufacturing and air emissions control strategies, flawed scientific data, and non-validated assumptions taken from other industries with no ceramic tile precedents. 

The members ended the letter with, “Since there are no costs or emissions reductions expected under the Clay Ceramics Manufacturing rule, it is our request that the standards for ceramic tile manufacturing not be finalized. Any additional time spent on an action that applies to no one would be a waste of federal government resources and taxpayer dollars.” 

The NESHAP rule is expected to be finalized by September 2015. 

Those who signed the letter include Sens. David Vitter (R-La.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship; Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), chairman of the EPW Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety; Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.); Deb Fischer (R-Neb.); Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), John Boozman (R-Ark.); John Barrasso (R-Wyo.); Reps. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.); Walter Jones (R-N.C.); John Duncan Jr. (R-Tenn.); Phil Roe (R-Tenn.); Steve King (R-Iowa); Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.); Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.); Steven Fincher (R-Tenn.); Diane Black (R-Tenn.); Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.); and David Rouzer (R-N.C.).

To read the full text of the letter, click here.