Bill may speed approval for new US chemical plants

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: June 12, 2014 12:59 pm ET
Updated: June 12, 2014 1:05 pm ET

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise

Related to this story

Topics Public Policy, Sustainability, United States

WASHINGTON — The House Energy and Commerce Committee this week approved a bill that would speed the permitting process for new manufacturing facilities, which may help plastics feedstock plants get up and running faster.

 The bill, written by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), would require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to provide more timely guidance to companies on compliance with changing regulations and air-quality standards, a frequent hang up for pre-construction permit applications. EPA also would have to make more permitting information available to the public in an effort to prevent delays and report to Congress on what is being done to expedite the approval process.

The number of New Source Review (NSR) preconstruction permits issued under the Clean Air Act also would be made public under the new bill.

 “By increasing transparency and holding the EPA accountable, we can jump start a broken permitting process that is holding back our economy,” said Scalise, the vice chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power. “Instead of arbitrary regulations that will force jobs and higher emissions to countries like China, this bill holds the EPA accountable and provides industry a roadmap as to how to achieve the highest standards through the use of the best commercially available science and technology.”

 Lawmakers like Scalise and industry groups are growing concerned that the slow federal permitting process is becoming a deterrent for companies to build in the United States., especially those with international ties or investors. A joint venture between Occidental Chemical Corp. and a Mexico-based PVC and specialty chemicals firm Mexichem SAB de CV, originally announced in August 2012, did not get the green light from EPA to build an ethylene cracker in Ingleside, Texas, until last month.

 The chemical industry currently has plans for more than $115 billion in investments for at least 180 new projects, according to Lorraine Gershman, regulatory and technical affairs director at the American Chemistry Council.

In her May testimony to a subcommittee in favor of the bill, Gershman said cheaper and readily available shale gas is creating a renaissance for U.S. manufacturing, but costly and time-consuming pre-construction regulations, inadequate emissions modeling programs and potential legal challenges could derail much of those investments.

 The Promoting New Manufacturing Act was approved by the committee on a 30-19 vote and now goes to the full House for consideration.


Comments

Bill may speed approval for new US chemical plants

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: June 12, 2014 12:59 pm ET
Updated: June 12, 2014 1:05 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Judge limits scope of jury verdict against JM Eagle

December 19, 2014 2:30 pm ET

A federal judge in Los Angeles said Dec. 18 that last year's jury verdict issued against J-M Manufacturing Co. — now JM Eagle — for...    More

Image

Jarden hiring for new plastics plant

December 19, 2014 1:45 pm ET

Consumer products conglomerate Jarden Corp. is hiring plastics technicians for a new operation in Erlanger, Ky.    More

Image

Antimicrobial polymers firm TiFiber launching pilot production in Ark.

December 19, 2014 10:58 am ET

TiFiber Inc., which makes synthetic compounds to control dangerous microorganisms, will locate a pilot production facility and its future company...    More

Image

Spray PU foam aids in NASA launch

December 19, 2014 9:22 am ET

NASA's test of the Orion spacecraft earlier this month took advantage of spray polyurethane foam insulation from North Carolina Foam Industries...    More

Auto supplier M-Tek relocating headquarters

December 18, 2014 3:37 pm ET

M-Tek Inc., a subsidiary of Japanese automotive supplier Kasai Kogyo Co. Ltd., will build a new North American corporate headquarters in Murfreesboro,...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events