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What EPA Overregulation Means For U.S. Manufacturing ^ | 4/3/2014 | Wayne Kovach

Posted on 04/03/2014 9:35:25 AM PDT by Rio

Manufacturers, already pinned down by rising production costs and competition from other countries, continue to struggle against an old adversary… Washington, specifically the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA has instituted tough rules and regulations on U.S. businesses, leading many in the industry to believe that compliance is not only futile, but may lead to closures of many facilities.

Survivability in the manufacturing industry is at an all-time high, but still faces some roadblocks. An independent  review  of EPA regulations examines the disparity between EPA projections and the industry’s more realistic concerns about future profits, job loss and taxes. We’ll take a look at some of these standards, which industries are most affected, how businesses are evolving, and where they see their futures within these constraints.


Coal Combustion Residuals:

Falling under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), these rules would regulate coal ash disposal by electric utilities and power plants. Recent attempts by the  Obama  administration to curb emissions from the 1,500 coal plants in the United States could ultimately lead to hundreds of them being retired permanently. A short-sighted plan to cut the nation’s electric supply prior to having an alternative plan may easily lead to shortages, higher electric prices and bills, and  power outages  country-wide. Coal supplies approximately 40% of our electricity, while “green” processes like wind (3.46 percent) and solar (0.11 percent) simply aren’t feasible at this point.

Cooling Water Intake Structures:

Part of the Clean Water Act with an expected rule finalization of April 17, 2014, this act requires that water intakes reflect the best technology for design, construction, and location. The measure is aimed at reducing the amount of fish and shellfish being killed by the cooling intakes’ heat or cleaning chemicals, but this targets industrial facilities that use large amounts of water from lakes, ponds, and rivers.

Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR):

The National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) includes this requirement to limit fine particle pollution, created by power plants, from crossing state lines. Admitted in the rule, however, is the uncertainty of electricity price fluctuations state-wide that may come from this rule being implemented.



Virtually all segments of the manufacturing industry are affected in some way by these regulations. Chemical manufacturing plants (acids, solvents, and solid wastes), food processing plants (boilers, incinerators, pesticides), metal fabricators (corrosives and packaging wastes), pharmaceutical production lines (solid waste and water runoff from production), printing facilities (misused ink and lithographic cleaners), and power plants are just some of the bigger components of manufacturing that believe the upfront costs of compliance and loss of jobs will far outweigh the benefits of stricter emissions standards. From the cologne you wear, to the food you eat, to the medicine you take, virtually every facet of daily life comes from these industries. Mandatory compliance to rigorous EPA rules will mean higher prices that will get passed down to the consumer.



Many required changes to meet the EPA’s benchmarks include immediate coststo retrofit existing machinery,updatewaste management systems, and train all employees. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has  reported  “Both the EPA and industry estimate that the cumulative impact of the proposed regulations could cost roughly $100 billion annually. In a worst-case scenario, the regulations could mean the loss of $630 billion, 4.2 percent of GDP and from 2 million to as much as 9 million jobs.”

Inhibiting future growth:

By creating these standards at a time when theUS is mired ina sluggish economy with a 6.6 percent unemployment rate, companies can’t afford higher costs and don’t need additional reasons to cut staff.

NAM President Jay Timmons stated that “In the past 30 years, more than 2,000 regulations have been imposed on manufacturers. It is already 20 percent more expensive to manufacture in the United States compared to our largest trading partners, and more regulations from Washington are only digging the hole deeper.”

What this means...

Manufacturers are pushing back, both with court cases and meetings with the EPA. The energy sector feels especially compelled to draw the line on these regulations before they get out of hand. Closing certain manufacturing plants, and limiting the production at others, will lead to interruptions in service for all industries that depend on a constant source of electric supply to function on a daily basis. At a time when this country is nearing  energy independence , limiting resources and stifling growth by bleeding regulatory confusion kills the competitive advantage the US currently has.

There is a general consensus among industry leaders that EPA regulations are simply too harsh. While created with good intentions, these rules cannot reasonably be fulfilled in the timeframe and cost structure required. The greatest concern, however, is the fear of the unknown. This is why manufacturing and industry leaders see the vital need to fight this battle now. What other regulations will come in the future if they don’t?

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government
KEYWORDS: energy; epa

1 posted on 04/03/2014 9:35:25 AM PDT by Rio
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To: Rio

One has to conclude that the Liberals really DO want to dismantle to Middle class. In their Utopia, there will be the Elites, the Intelligensia, the Bureaucrats, the Enforcers, and everyone else. The everyone else will stay at home, smoke pot, entertain themselves while being supported by a Government stipend. Most importantly, they willvote Democratic to keep the good times rolling.

2 posted on 04/03/2014 9:40:05 AM PDT by rbg81
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To: Rio

Why do we say these regs are made with good intent? Commies never care about the environment, only control.

3 posted on 04/03/2014 9:42:44 AM PDT by steve8714
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To: Rio

Sure the EPA is an issue, but the dismemberment of US manufacturing is a big issue, and growing.

We need to limit the EPA.

But we likewise need manufacturing. Right here in America.

It is time to start bringing back manufacturing, to the USA.

4 posted on 04/03/2014 9:45:17 AM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (
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To: Rio

Having a husband that works at a coal fired power plant, the EPA is making his job harder and harder. Already, there is almost 80,000 megawatts being retired in 2015. Of course, natural gas power plants they say is the way to go..... soooo when these power plants use up large amounts of natural gas, what does everyone think is going to happen to the natural gas prices? I do think that industry needs some form of oversite, I don’t want China’s air quality, but really.... Extremely Pathetic A-holes

5 posted on 04/03/2014 9:45:35 AM PDT by southernindymom
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To: Rio

The states need to ignore the EPA, and their unlawful edicts. If the feds threaten a state with retaliation, that state should kick out EVERY federal agency. These asshats in DC need a hard lesson on exactly who is in charge of this country, and it isn’t any of the idiots currently residing in DC.

6 posted on 04/03/2014 9:56:27 AM PDT by factoryrat (We are the producers, the creators. Grow it, mine it, build it.)
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To: Rio; All

I don’t know what’s worse, a so-called “independent federal regulatory agency” like the EPA that has no constitutional basis to exist, or businessmen who have evidently never read the Constitution, particularly Congress’s constitutional Article I, Section 8-limited powers.

7 posted on 04/03/2014 10:10:47 AM PDT by Amendment10
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To: Rio

What it means is the established big guys got theirs. The rest of you small struggling Tango Sierra. Obama’s got our back.

8 posted on 04/03/2014 10:34:34 AM PDT by Organic Panic
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To: Rio

It is particularly telling that environmentalists, through like-minded bureaucrats at the EPA, are happy to shut down entire industries that are important components to our industrial base for the sake of “cleaner air”, but do not seem to care one whit about the net increase in environmental burden that will happen when non-US companies fill the demand that these closings leave unfulfilled.

9 posted on 04/03/2014 11:22:40 AM PDT by theBuckwheat
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

What the USA really requires is QUALITY, AFFORDABLE manufacturing. Lower costs in competing countries enable them to equal or surpass the quality of goods manufactured here.
Take virtually duplicate products made here and abroad. The USA made product is, due to unions, regulation, national, state and local taxation, MORE expensive. With prices rising, the American consumer is less likely to afford the American made product.
With the current “rules”, how can we win?

10 posted on 04/03/2014 3:28:22 PM PDT by CaptainAmiigaf (NY TIMES: We print the news as it fits our views.)
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