Small businesses and manufacturers opposed to new Biden EPA rule on methyl chloride

 July 4, 2023

Small businesses and manufacturers are weighing in on a new EPA rule limiting most uses of the chemical methyl chloride, saying the rule is based on flawed and false health information and would have an economic impact in the billions by killing small businesses and manufacturers.

"The science on methylene chloride is clear, exposure can lead to severe health impacts and even death, a reality for far too many families who have lost loved ones due to acute poisoning," EPA Administrator Michael Regan said after proposing the rule. "That’s why EPA is taking action, proposing to ban most uses of this chemical and reduce exposures in all other scenarios by implementing more stringent workplace controls to protect worker health."

As with all proposed EPA rules, this one is in the comment period after being unveiled in April, and has been getting numerous negative comments about its impact on the U.S. economy.

Tens of thousands of individuals, businesses and groups have commented on the rule; the comment window closed on Monday.

"Onerous" regulation

The Ohio Manufacturers' Association said, "OMA can appreciate EPA’s desire to restrict use of methylene chloride to the general public, retailers, and consumers such as home contractors/remodelers who may not be fully aware of the necessary precautions to safely use this chemical. However, this proposed rule is a case of ‘throwing-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater.’"

"We have grave concerns that EPA is going beyond its statutory authority with this rule, and usurping [the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA)] authority to regulate workplace safety by replacing OSHA’s limits with EPA’s own limits and practices," it continued. "Therefore, we urge in the strongest terms that the final rule exempts commercial and industrial sectors, that are already highly regulated by OSHA."

The rule amounts to an "onerous, top-down, command-and-control, bureaucratic process," OMA concluded.

"Business-closing and job-killing"

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) argued that the EPA came to the false conclusion that the rule would not impact the economy when it would actually have "business-closing and job-killing" impacts because there is no viable replacement for MCL.

"EPA reached the conclusion with respect to the MCL proposed rule that EPA ‘did not find that there would be an impact on the national economy,’" the NFIB stated.

"Table 3 in the notice of the MCL proposed rule, listing broad sectors of the economy that EPA plans to prohibit from using MCL, and the specific EPA statement that furniture refinisher business closures alone has an upper bound lost revenue level of $1.8 billion, suffice to render the EPA conclusion unreasonable," it said.

"Terrible damage"

Olin, the world's largest manufacturer of chlorine and chlorine derivatives, commented that the EPA rule amounts to "arbitrary bans on dozens of vital industrial use cases" for MCL even as it exempts politically favored industries. The proposal "will do terrible damage to the national economy that will compound with each future rulemaking," the company said.

"The exposure limits as proposed — which are the strictest in the world by orders of magnitude — will result in increased reliance on China for many end products that could have been produced in the United States," Olin wrote.

The limits could even lead to drug shortages, including medications for Hepatitis B and HIV, mental illnesses, epilepsy, high cholesterol, and over-the-counter allergy treatments.

The incompetence of the EPA and the Biden administration knows no bounds, but it doesn't care as long as it can claim that it is fixing the environment--a claim that seems erroneous here.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.