Letter to SBA for Regulatory Reform
Joined: Jun 08 2009
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Topic: Letter to SBA for Regulatory Reform
Posted: Dec 15 2010 at 1:29pm
No luck attaching the Word file so here's the draft letter we talked about in the meeting yesterday, please take a look and let me know if you any changes:
Dear Sir or Madam:
The state Small Business Ombudsman and Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs (SBO/SBEAP) were created under s. 507 of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. For more than 15 years, the SBO/SBEAPs have provided extensive, hands-on assistance to small businesses to help them understand and comply with environmental regulations. The National Steering Committee for the national network of state Small Business Ombudsman and Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs thanks you for the opportunity to nominate the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Ozone for review under the Small Business Regulatory Review and Reform Initiative.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed changes to the NAAQS for ozone in the Federal Register on January 19, 2010 in Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OAR–2005-0172. The change would lead to additional compliance requirements for small commercial and industrial sources of emissions. As a result of lowering the ozone standard, states would be required to implement rules to ensure compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The implementation and enforcement of these rules in the form of lower emission limits for processes using volatile organic compounds (VOC) would greatly impact small businesses.
Small businesses engaged in surface coating, automotive repair and refinishing, miscellaneous manufacturing, and many other activities use products and conduct processes that emit VOCs. The rules would limit the type and effectiveness of coatings, adhesives, and cleaning solvents used in small industrial applications. Small businesses would be required to change current manufacturing processes to meet lower VOC levels. In some cases, the new rules would require the installation of costly emission control systems to meet new VOC emission limits.
In addition, the proposed changes may result in a large number of new counties in states across the country being designated as non-attainment for ozone for the first time. Each of these counties includes small businesses that may be impacted by the proposed rule. Not only would the small businesses in the newly designated counties be affected by the new standards, there may be lower permit thresholds bringing many more into the permit system.
The proposed changes to the NAAQS for ozone would add to the disproportionate level of regulation burdening small business, as described in the SBA study titled “The Impact on Regulatory Costs on Small Firms” (W. Mark Crain, 2005). This rule is a good example of how decisions made at the federal level lead to state environmental rules compounding the cost of compliance for small businesses.
Thank you for this opportunity to provide input on federal regulations that require review and reform. If you would like to discuss any of these issues please contact Dan Nickey, Co-Chair of the NSC Technical Subcommittee at 319-273-6588.
Small Business and Local Government Assistance Section
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
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