Just weeks ago, President Obama signaled he would veto the TRAIN Act—a bill that could indefinitely delay implementation of the Cross-State Air Pollution and the utility MACT rules. This week, the White House said that it “strongly opposed” two bills that would delay the compliance period for reducing pollution from industrial boilers, solid waste incinerators, and cement plants.
The bills are H.R. 2250 (The EPA Regulatory Relief Act)—which would require the EPA to issue new rules for air emissions from industrial boilers in 15 months and delay the compliance period for the regulations until at least 2018—and H.R. 2681, the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act, which would require the agency to issue new regulations for cement plant emissions in 15 months.
The bills are expected to come up for a floor vote in the House this week. In a statement, the White House said the bills would prevent the EPA from moving ahead with “long-overdue requirements to reduce air pollution” and weaken the agency’s ability to ensure its standards protect American families.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed, with a 249-169 vote, the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation Act of 2011 (H.R. 2401)—the so-called TRAIN Act—on Sept. 23, a bill that seeks to suspend the EPA’s July-issued Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) and Mercury and Air Toxics standards by at least 15 to 19 months. The bill is expected to face roadblocks in the Senate, however, and it requires the president’s signature to become law.
As POWERnews reported, the bill had initially been written to create a committee to study the effects of EPA regulations on prices, employment, and other economic issues. An amendment from Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) calls for the suspension of the CSAPR and utility MACT rules, as well as for the elimination of deadlines that could force the agency to re-issue the standards.
In a statement, the White House said it supported “careful analysis of the economic effects of regulation,” but it said “the approach taken in H.R. 2401 would slow or undermine important public health protections,” signaling President Obama’s intention to veto the bill.