Small Businesses Invited to Discuss Air Toxics from Brick Production
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants recommendations from small businesses on the best way to regulate air toxics from the production of bricks and structural clay products such as roof tiles.
EPA is inviting small businesses to nominate representatives to participate in a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel that will provide input into the development of the agency's 2010 proposed rule for brick and structural clay products. This is a change from the past, when EPA selected panel members in consultation with the U.S. Small Business Administration but did not invite small businesses to nominate representatives.
The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires EPA to convene such a panel if a rule may have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small businesses.
Under a separate statute, the Clean Air Act, EPA must issue national emissions standards for new and existing major sources of air toxics from a wide variety of industries, including brick and structural clay products manufacturing. Air toxics, also known as hazardous air pollutants, are pollutants known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health problems.
EPA issued air toxics regulations for brick and structural clay products manufacturing facilities in 2003, but they were nullified by a federal court; therefore, EPA is beginning the process of developing a new rule. An estimated 82 percent of the companies operating brick kilns are small businesses.