Regulatory Developments, Special Topics in Environmental Management

Bill Introduced Would Delay Compliance with Brick MACT

Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House to block the EPA from requiring compliance with its National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for the brick and structural clay products manufacturing and clay ceramics manufacture maximum achievable control technology (collectively, Brick MACT) until any judicial proceedings, including appeals, addressing the rule are final.

The bill—the Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns (BRICK) Act of 2016—was written to prevent a repeat of actions affected businesses took after the EPA issued its original Brick MACT in 2003. That rule was challenged by environmental groups who argued that the EPA based the MACT floor on emissions levels all affected facilities were achieving. The groups argued that the Clean Air Act (CAA) requires that MACT levels must be identical to the average emissions being achieved by the best performing 12 percent of existing sources. The D.C. Circuit agreed with the petitioners, vacated the rule, and ordered the EPA to write a rule that complied with the CAA.

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