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The Hidden Costs Of New Federal Air Quality Regulations: Information Collection Requests And What You Can Do About Them

January 13, 2012 Comments off

The Hidden Costs Of New Federal Air Quality Regulations: Information Collection Requests And What You Can Do About Them (PDF)
Source: King & Spalding (The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel)

Everyone knows that new environmental regulations can impact a company’s bottom line. This is particularly true for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations under the federal Clean Air Act, which can impact huge numbers of facilities spanning broad sectors of the national economy. These rules can also impose staggering eco- nomic costs. Compliance with EPA’s emis- sion standards for commercial and industrial boilers, for example, has been projected to cost affected sources more than $20 billion. And more recently, President Obama instructed EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw the proposed standard for ozone, explaining that the extraordinary costs of the regulations were simply too great for our fragile economy to bear.

But the true cost of air quality regulations is not limited to the capital expenditures and compliance expenses required after the rules are implemented. Far from it. With increasing frequency, EPA has used its authority under Section 114 of the Clean Air Act to issue massive “information collection requests,” requiring regulated businesses across the country to conduct expensive emissions testing at their facilities and to collect data about their emissions. Each facility receiving the information request must then submit the required data to EPA – ostensibly for use in developing new air quality regulations – or face the possibility of a civil enforcement action and significant civil penalties.

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