The Cost of Regulation

PF Digital Dispatch



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One of the few nice things that Congress has done for businesses over the years is to require government agencies imposing new regulations to spell out how much time and money it will cost the company owner to comply with the new rules.

Last week the EPA filed a report that said the annual cost for finishers to monitor their chromium electroplating and anodizing operations is about $15,000 a year in paperwork and testing. Together, it will cost in excess of $26 million a year to the industry to file as many as 15 reports a year on the process.

That's just for a very small part of the finishing industry: there's only about 1,700 firms that still do that type of work, down from over 5,000 a few years ago,

Other industries are also getting hit hard by the EPA, and those dollars for reporting are staggering. The biomass industry says it will cost the 100 or so of its U.S. operations "billions in new equipment and costs" to comply with new standards that would reclassify the boiler units at biomass plants as "incinerators," making them subject to stricter emissions limits for several toxic pollutants, including mercury, hydrogen chloride, manganese, carbon monoxide and dioxin.

The cement industry says new air emission rules from the EPA would could cost the industry $4 billion and raise the price of cement from $100 to $121 per ton.

Years ago a politician said: "Overburdensome and unnecessary federal regulations can choke the life out of small businesses by imposing costly and often-ineffectual remedies to problems that may not exist."

Next time you see Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), remind him of his 1996 quote. And then ask the Senate Majority Leader when he will help those businesses that are having the life sucked out of them.