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VI to Address Regulatory Reform at 2017 Fly-in
The 2017 Vinyl Industry Congressional Fly-in is quickly approaching, and registration is now open! We have an exciting lineup of speakers and new issues this year and there’s sure to be something for everyone. One of the most important issues this year is regulatory reform.
In response to the Trump Administration’s commitment to reducing the regulatory burden on business and industry, the Vinyl Institute (VI) has been working with our members to develop a list of the most significant regulations facing our industry. VI members identified eight different regulations for consideration, but the two most significant ones identified were the EPA’s PVC MACT rule and the Environmentally Preferred Purchasing (EPP) program at EPA.
The PVC MACT rule has been under Agency reconsideration for over 4 years. The U.S. vinyl industry has spent over $50 million and 10 man-years in data collection and information support to help EPA finish its PVC MACT rulemaking under the Clean Air Act only to have EPA staff pulled off the rule to work on other non-statutory projects. During court proceedings, EPA repeatedly committed to completing the rule by April 2016 with a final rule by December 2016. That did not occur, however, and EPA would not commit to a completion date during the December 2016 Court update. The continued uncertainty of this pending rule restricts future growth and expansion of the U.S. vinyl industry and will become a lost export opportunity for the U.S. producers and their employees.
EPA’s EPP program helps the US federal government identify and procure environmentally preferable products and services through the use of marketplace standards and ecolabels. EPA recently issued its “Recommendations of Specifications, Standards, and Ecolabels for Federal Purchasing,” a culmination of 2 years of staff effort without seeking public comments on the document. The recommendations include parts of private non-governmental, non-consensus standards that have anti-PVC policies. EPA’s endorsement of these programs gives credibility to unscientific determinations that disregard life cycle assessments that demonstrate the proven benefits of PVC materials. We believe the EPP program essentially gives the government power to pick winners and losers in the marketplace.
VI has contracted with the Sonoran Policy Group (SPG) and continues to work with the Regulatory Improvement Council (RIC), which is a broad coalition of trade associations to address these and other issues with the White House and the appropriate federal agencies.
The Republican Congress is also eyeing overturning many of President Obama’s regulations through the Congressional Review Act (CRA) by amending it through the Midnight Rules Relief Act that would allow Congress to use the CRA to allow en bloc disapproval of multiple regulations. The Senate would need to act on (i.e. overcome the 60 vote filibuster margin) similar legislation for this to occur. VI will continue working with the administration and Congress to identify additional opportunities for reform.
Please join us at the 2017 Vinyl Industry Congressional Fly-in on May 17th and 18th to address these and other critical issues with policymakers here in Washington, DC.