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Small business owners are rightly concerned about broad effect the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations are having on their bottom lines. From farms to construction companies, the EPA’s reach is extending further into the operations of small business owners. In fact, a 2010 Small Business Administration study found that small businesses spend an average of 364 percent more per employee annually that larger firms. At a time when America is hoping for strong job growth to get our economy rolling again, the EPA needs to avoid saddling small business owners with overly-burdensome regulations.
Environmental Protection Agency
Environmental Protection Agency
Definition of Waters of the U.S. Under the Clean Water Act — Final Rule expected in 2015
The EPA is aiming to expand the definition of U.S. waters that are “navigable” – in some cases, to even small depressions or farm ponds that do not impair the flow of rivers. Despite state jurisdiction, this rule could impose federal mandates for water quality levels in these local waters or land uses. What’s most troublesome is that the EPA proposed the rule without doing required Regulatory Flexibility Act processes. EPA claims that the rule will have no significant impact on small businesses even though the rule will clearly restrict the ability of small businesses to expand or develop their land and decrease land value. For more information on this rule, please visit nfib.com/waters.
Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule for Public and Commercial Buildings — Proposed Rule Expected in 2015
Following on its problematic Lead: RRP rule covering residential housing, the EPA is poised to expand the rule to cover commercial buildings. While the goal of the rule – protecting people from exposure to lead dust – is laudable, EPA has not yet issued a study or identified data that shows if lead dust from these buildings impact surrounding neighborhoods. In addition, EPA appears intent on adapting its residential rule for commercial buildings. NFIB is concerned about his approach because the residential rule is punitive mostly to companies that try to comply. About 35 percent of small employers, who operate their business outside of their house, own all or part of the building or land on which their business is located. These small businesses face higher costs as well.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions; New and Existing Power Plants — Final Rules Expected in Summer 2015
EPA’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions have started with coal and natural gas power plants. A first rule covering new plants was published in January 2014. A second, and likely more economically damaging, rule covering existing power plants was proposed in June 2014. NFIB is concerned about the rules’ impact on affordable electricity, one of the most important costs a small business owner faces. NFIB submitted Comments to the EPA regarding standards of performance for greenhouse gas emissions from new plants. NFIB also submitted Comments to the EPA regarding their proposed rule to limit emissions of greenhouse gases from existing coal and natural gas-fired power plants.