WASHINGTON - Plastics industry representatives lobbied in Washington on July 21 against new rules aimed at preventing accidental releases of hazardous chemicals in the air. Mary McConnell, vice president, environmental and regulatory affairs, for Genmar Industries in Minneapolis testified on behalf of thermoset-using boat builders.
She noted that only small increases of styrene, a listed chemical, during the boat building process could trigger large penalties under the proposed rule.
The Environmental Protection Agency's rules are duplicative, cumbersome, complicated and slow, a General Electric Co. lawyer testified.
Shannon S. Broome, GE counsel for air programs in Washington, joined a number of others testifying against EPA's proposed role in requiring firms to produce risk management programs curbing accidental releases of hazardous waste under section 112 of the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act.
Testimony before the House Commerce subcommittee on oversight and investigations urged that, instead of overseeing standards on a case-by-case basis as EPA proposes, the agency should issue uniform source categories covering most domestic industries.
Doing so would reduce their second-guessing of the degree EPA regulators would enforce the ``maximum achievable control technology,'' or MACT, standards at each facility, industry officials testified.
Michael Seymour, senior director of technical services for Lasco Products Group of Anaheim, Calif., testified on behalf of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.
Seymour noted that the pertinent wording in section 112 has ``the effect of shifting the burden of developing MACT standards from EPA, whose obligation it is to set standards, to a facility whose primary function is to produce materials for commerce.''
Further, according to SPI's comments filed with the committee, the cost of compliance for each facility is $20,000 to $100,000, ``prohibitively costly and resource intensive to ... the plastics industry which is comprised mostly of small busi-nesses.''
Further, the portions of section under scrutiny by the committee, though well-intentioned, have ``the effect of punishing facilities rather than encouraging timely regulation, Seymour testified.
The list of chemicals considered hazardous under the Clean Air Act was released in January 1994.