The PCA has issued a statement on its website regarding legislation that could help protect industry from the proposed redefinition of ‘waters of the United States’. The statement refers to Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act (H.R. 5078), which aims to establish safeguards that preserve important federal-state partnerships in protecting US waterways.
The PCA states: ‘A proposed rule by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers would redefine “waters of the United States” and expand the scope of federal jurisdiction. Cement plants in the United States currently comply with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits that require strict adherence to water quality guidelines. However, the proposed rule is confusing and ambiguous, and will likely add requirements to water permits. For example, an added provision in the proposed rule is that “waters of the United States” may be defined “on a case-specific basis,” and consequently, infrastructure projects and construction site developments could be delayed due to increased hydrological and geological surveys to determine jurisdictional questions.’
“As proposed, the rule could undermine cement manufacturing’s long-term investment by preventing full access to limestone deposits,” said Cary Cohrs, chairman of the Portland Cement Association (PCA) Board of Directors. “Cement is vital to maintaining and building our nation’s infrastructure. The EPA and the Corps must fully consider the potential economic impacts that the proposed rule may place on the regulated community and on state and local governments as well as the construction and building sectors.”
The PCA adds: ‘The Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act will provide the proper safeguards against regulatory overreach while allowing industry the certainty necessary to improve our nation’s economy.’
Adapted from press release by Katherine Guenioui
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/18072014/new-epa-rule-threatens-access-to-limestone-deposits-124/