WASHINGTON – Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04) voted Thursday (March 3) for H.R. 4557, the BRICK Act (Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns). Prior to passage, Westerman delivered the following speech on the House floor:
“I rise today in support of H.R. 4557, the BRICK Act,” Westerman said. “This legislation delays an unnecessary rule that imposes overly-strict emissions standards on BRICK kilns. Manufacturers shouldn’t have to deal with the hassles of an overzealous regulator in the first place, but they should at least get to have their day in court fighting this unreasonable regulation before incurring millions of dollars of expense to comply. Since 2003, brick manufacturers have reduced emissions from kilns by 95 percent. However, the EPA decided to impose another Washington mandate on small businesses which they may not even be able to meet. Shuttering U.S. brick factories will lead to higher costs for American consumers, making it even more expensive to open a business or raise a family.
“Additionally, manufacturers will shed good-paying jobs in places like Malvern, Arkansas, and once against our manufacturing needs will move offshore to a place that pollutes much worse than we do here. Not only is the EPA out touch with reality on this issue, they exhibit no common sense when they regulate jobs away from America and send them to countries that pay subpar wages and have subpar pollution control technology. They have a lose, lose proposition. This is the same EPA that negligently released millions of gallons of toxic mine water into the Animas River, tried to cover up and minimize their actions, refused to take responsibility, and resists being held accountable. If anyone needs more regulation, it’s this out of control federal agency, not hardworking Americans. For the sake of our environment and economy, I urge the House to pass the BRICK Act to keep the air cleaner and to save good-paying jobs here at home.”