The U.S. House of Representatives passed the first of two bills Oct. 6 to delay new rules on industrial boilers, cement plants and solid waste incinerators.
House Republicans repeatedly have targeted Environmental Protection Agency regulations that they view as job killers. The latest bills probably will stall in the Democratic-run Senate, even if some Democrats vote for them, and the White House has threatened to veto both measures.
The first bill, which the House passed by a 262-161 vote, would force the EPA to rewrite regulations designed to reduce pollution at about 150 cement plants nationwide. The measure also would extend by years the time that companies have to comply with the new regulations.
Earlier this year the EPA dropped boiler rules that affected the powder coating and painting industry when they admitted they inadvertently included "burn off ovens" into the description of industrial boilers.
The decision came after Products Finishing magazine wrote extensively how the EPA under-reported the number of burn off ovens; the EPA claimed less than 50 when PF reported the number could be as high as 10,000.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said in statement that the bill's passage was a common-sense action to delay "EPA regulations that stand in the way of investment and growth." He said the legislation would make it easier for cement companies, already struggling because of reduced demand, "to succeed and create jobs again."
The EPA also announced technical adjustments to another regulation targeted by the House GOP that will relax emissions targets for nine states and for individual power plants in seven others that contribute to unhealthy air downwind. Last week, the House passed a bill that would nullify the regulation. The White House threatened to veto that effort as well.