Griffith Introduces EPA MACT Act

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 | Andie Pivarunas (202-225-3861)

Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) yesterday introduced the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Maximum Achievable Contraction of Technocrats (MACT) Act, H.R. 3641.  More than nine out of every ten EPA employees were considered “non-essential” and were furloughed during the recent partial government shutdown.  Griffith’s EPA MACT Act would require the EPA Administrator to reduce the EPA’s workforce by 15 percent within three years.  It also allows the EPA Administrator to have an additional (4th) year if she deemed it necessary to achieve the goal.

After introducing the EPA MACT Act, Griffith issued the following statement:

“This is the time of year when folks make their Christmas lists, or lay out their hopes and aspirations for the new year.  The overwhelming majority of citizens of the Ninth District of Virginia would welcome the inclusion of the EPA MACT Act on their wish lists.  It may be asking a lot of Santa for this bill to become law, but the economy of the Ninth District and our people can’t take any more job-killing, unreasonable EPA regulations.

“Many in my area and in coal communities across the nation may wish for the complete elimination of the EPA, but the EPA MACT Act is a more balanced approach.  It recognizes that the EPA has put forward some reasonable regulations in the past, and that the agency ought to have the resources in order to be able to continue enforcing those reasonable regulations.  Our environment and our communities are better because of earlier actions.  Further, the EPA oversees some important programs, such as the grant programs that provide clean water to underserved areas. 

“But, for example, should fire hydrants be subject to EPA drinking water regulations that exempt shower valves and bathtub faucets?  My kids often will get a drink from the shower or bathtub faucet, but have never had a drink from a fire hydrant.  Do you know many people who regularly drink from a fire hydrant?  I don’t.  But in October, EPA issued guidance saying that fire hydrants installed after January 4, 2014 must comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act.  Communities across the country could have to spend millions of dollars replacing their fire hydrant inventories in order to both keep the public safe and comply with this ridiculous guidance.

“Just yesterday, the House unanimously passed a bipartisan bill that rejects this guidance.  But when will it stop?  The EPA has been worrying over the ‘pollution’ emitted by cows (methane) for decades,* and they have even deemed carbon dioxide as harmful!  Carbon dioxide is one of the gases that all humans emit when exhaling.  If you were to take their reasoning to an extreme, the EPA might one day claim to have the authority to regulate the number of children we can have.  After all, new human beings will obviously emit the ‘harmful’ gas carbon dioxide when they start their first cry!  I’m not suggesting that the EPA is even thinking about doing that now, but former Chairman John Dingell – who wrote the Clean Air Act – has said that he never anticipated that the Clean Air Act would be used to regulate carbon dioxide.**

“Clearly, EPA regulators are waging a war on common sense, American manufacturers, jobs, and more.  There are real businesses that have closed and real people who have lost their jobs as a result of unreasonable EPA actions.  The American people need some relief without delay.  This bill would give a small measure of hope to those who face the prospects of the business they work for being shuttered and the loss of their jobs because of an overzealous EPA producing massive new unreasonable regulations.”

A copy of the EPA MACT Act is attached.

 

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*http://epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gases/ch4.html
**http://www.mlive.com/opinion/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2011/06/viewpoint_congress_never_inten.html

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