This week, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 1917, the Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns (BRICK) Act of 2017, legislation introduced by Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Ohio). Americans for Tax Reform supports this bill because it stops the EPA from imposing costly and burdensome regulations that could later be overturned by a court.

The legislation requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to wait until legal challenges have been resolved before forcing manufacturers of brick and structural clay products or clay ceramics to comply with the Clean Air Act rules on national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants.

In 2002, for example, the EPA demanded that this same manufacturing industry follow the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) rule. The industry spent over $100 million in order to comply with this rule, and the rule could cost hundreds of thousands of jobs. Despite spending all of this money complying with the rule, a federal court later vacated the rule in 2007, and the industry was forced to spend money removing the equipment that was bought to comply with the rule.

Further harming this situation is the fact that this industry is made up mostly of small businesses (about 75%) that cannot afford to spend money on costly regulations that are later found to be illegal. 

The EPA, therefore, needs to wait until the courts have decided the legality of these regulations before requiring compliance.

Given the high costs involved in these regulations, all Members of Congress should vote “Yes” on this legislation.