NSBA Testifies on EPA Regulations

April 13, 2016

Michael Canty TestimonyOn April 12, NSBA Board Member Michael Canty, President & CEO of Alloy Bellows & Precision Welding Inc., located in Cleveland, Ohio, testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight Subcommittee on the challenges facing small firms when it comes to burdensome regulations, specifically those coming from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“We were forced to hire a senior-level compliance officer to help us navigate the complex web of federal, state, and local regulations, and have spent at least $200,000 annually just to stay compliant,” stated Canty. “And that’s just for the regulations that we know of.”

Subcommittee Chairman Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) commented during his opening statement that it is essential to ease the regulatory burdens on small businesses because the compliance requirements are stifling innovation and job growth. He specifically noted that 3,000 current and pending regulations will cost $1.75 trillion annually in compliance costs. Other members of the subcommittee echoed his concerns that regulations be properly scaled for small businesses and cited the need for agencies to look more closely at the comments from the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy  pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act in the future.

Although the focus of the hearing was EPA regulations, Canty stressed that it is the cumulative effect of all regulations that must be considered, and that regulators estimating a particular compliance effort will “only take 22 minutes” are being shortsighted.

Canty highlighted several EPA regulations that have had a direct, negative impact on his firm, including: the use, disposal and record keeping of certain chemicals; required use of ethanol; power plant regulations leading to increased energy costs; and much more.

“Small companies like mine bear significant costs due to EPA regulations, leaving us with limited choices: become less competitive to foreign companies; move to less effective and more expensive processes; or simply outsource many of the products we use,” said Canty.

During the hearing, both Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Subcommittee Chairman Rounds directed questions to Michael Canty about his experiences reducing regulatory burdens at the state level as well as the costs that interruptions in the energy grid have for manufacturing companies. Also participating in the hearing were Subcommittee Ranking Member Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Sen.  Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.).

Canty concluded with praising efforts such as the RESTORE Resolution and National Regulatory Budget as sound proposals that could ease the massive federal regulatory burden on small firms.

Please click here to read the full testimony.