Mr. CARTER. Mr. Chairman, the U.S. cement industry is among the most regulated in the world and has long served not only as a responsible steward of the environment, but as a provider of high-wage family jobs in communities throughout this country. It competes against imported Asian cement, which has the advantage of low wages and nonexistent environmental regulations. Yet the EPA has plans to drop a bomb of job-killing, ineffective regulations on this industry which, by the EPA's own admission,
could result in an increase in global mercury pollution as production moves to those countries with no air quality standards. Specifically, in September of 2010, EPA finalized the Portland Cement National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, NESHAP, a rule based on questionable science.
The U.S. cement industry provides more than 15,000 high-wage jobs with an average compensation of $75,000 per year, and, along with allied industries, accounts for nearly $27.5 billion of the gross domestic product. Due to the recession, the cement industry has already lost over 4,000 jobs. This bad rule threatens to close another 18 of the 97 cement plants nationwide and throw another 1,800 Americans out of good-paying private sector jobs.
Mr. Chairman, as bitter as this would be in the middle of a horrible recession, if it were to guarantee that it would reduce mercury pollution, at least this high human cost might be justified. But when the cement production from these plants is shifted to China and India with no air quality standards, we could face increased mercury pollution worldwide and in this country.
Today, 75 percent of our annual mercury deposits are already coming to the United States from outside this country. That is indicated by this map prepared by the Electric Power Research Institute.
If you look at this map very briefly, here is the regulation chart. Red is somewhere between a little under 80 percent and 100 percent of the mercury. [Page: H1116]
If you look west of the Mississippi, in fact it actually crosses the Mississippi, all this area of red, that means the Asian pollution, Asian pollution, pollutes the mercury in this part of the United States in a percentage between 80 and 100 percent.
Now, as you move across into the Midwest and the South, it is only between 60 and 78 percent that is provided by the winds bringing pollutants from Asian pollution. Of course, Florida is down here. It is in the red, so it is between 80 and 100 percent.
It is only on the east coast that you get down in this range here, which is 20 to a little over 55 percent, and the blue is below that, which is just a few dots over here on the east coast.
So right now our mercury problem is not our problem; it is from outside the United States right now. And we are going to implement rules and regulations dropped on this industry by the EPA, which is going to drive at least 18 of these plants and possibly the vast majority of these plants offshore. Where are they going to go offshore? They are going to go to Asia.
Right now we have ways to measure this and protect ourselves in our plants already in place, and most of the things that EPA is asking for are in place. But they changed the rules in the middle of the game. Therefore, we are asking that we do the right thing and force the EPA to sit back down at the table and draft a rule that actually reduces mercury pollution and saves U.S. jobs.
This is important. This is a bad rule, and it is going to be bad for our environment. And the best thing we can do is say time out on this by basically saying no funds will be spent on the enforcement of this. And we would hope that EPA would go back to the table, sit down with industry, and come up with a real solution for what they are trying to do.
This is the purpose of my amendment, and this is what this is all about.
Mr. MORAN. This amendment would attempt to put to an end a rule that, first of all, would increase revenues in the industry sectors that design, manufacture and install pollution control equipment by as much as $2.2 billion and increase employment in the cement industry by as much as 1,300 jobs. So, in effect, the amendment could be considered a job-killer amendment.
But what it does is to prohibit EPA from implementing, administering or enforcing final rules to control air toxins from the Portland cement industry.
The standards for Portland cement kilns have already been promulgated. The amendment would not relieve the industry of the obligation to meet these standards. Even though the agency would be precluded from spending funds to enforce the standards, citizens or States could bring enforcement actions against these sources of pollution that didn't comply with the standards.
This amendment would also prevent EPA from providing technical assistance to such sources of pollution to assist them in understanding and complying with the rule or to the States to assist the States in enforcing the rule.
The compliance date is 2013, so the regulated industry sources are now in the process of evaluating control equipment needs and preparing to order large amounts of equipment in order to be in compliance. Lack of EPA assistance and oversight at this critical time may ultimately result in a number of facilities not being prepared to comply on the compliance date. This in turn could result in numerous enforcement actions and citizen lawsuits, all of which would ultimately result in significant costs
that would have to be borne by the States and regulated sources which this amendment would make avoidable.
These funding limitations to stop EPA rules really have unintended consequences. They don't stop the legal requirements to regulate polluters. They really do, though, contribute to the pockets of lawyers that would litigate these issues out in the courtrooms.
It seems to me that we should defeat what is really an unnecessarily costly amendment and an ill-advised and ill-timed one. So I would urge defeat of this amendment, Mr. Chairman.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Chairman, in advance of last fall, the election last fall, the Republican Conference presented a governing document called the Pledge to America, which put forward our ideas on how we intended to deal with the unsustainable level of deficit spending that has created a crippling debt being forced upon our children, our grandchildren and future generations.
The American people agreed with us and entrusted the Republican Party with a new majority here in the House in order to carry out what we put forward. In that pledge we promised that we would cut $100 billion from the fiscal year 2011 budget, and with the passage of this legislation, the underlying legislation, which I support, we will have kept that promise.
Unfortunately, President Obama did not seem to get that message, as he has threatened to veto this legislation.
The President remains committed to an agenda that calls for ever-higher spending, higher taxes, trillion-dollar deficits, huge debt, and a government that is out of control. The President presented his budget to the Congress this past Monday and patted himself on the back by saying that his budget, Mr. Chairman, reduces the deficit over the next 10 years by about a trillion dollars. But he said little of the fact that, according to his own math, more than $7 trillion would be added to our national
debt. Today, our national debt is in excess of $14 trillion. At the end of the President's 10-year budget window, it will be nearly $23 trillion. It's clear that the President's budget was not a governing document like the Pledge to America was. It was a political document in which he refused to take on the tough challenges that we face in our Nation.
In the Illinois State Senate, President Obama, then-State Senator Obama, voted ``present'' 130 times, refusing to take a position on the various issues facing his State. In his irresponsible budget on Monday, President Obama once again voted ``present.''
Mr. Chairman, President Obama needs to know with the many challenges facing our Nation, now is not the time to vote ``present.'' Now is the time to provide leadership.
You don't have to believe me that the President's budget doesn't provide the serious leadership that our Nation needs now. Just read The Washington Post. One of the President's strongest supporters in the media said this about the Obama budget: ``The President punted. Having been given the chance, the cover, and the push by the fiscal commission that he created to take the bold steps to raise revenue and curb entitlement spending, President Obama in his fiscal 2012 budget proposal chose instead
to duck. To duck and to mask some of the ducking with the sort of budgetary gimmicks that he once derided.''
Well, Mr. Chairman, punting in football is the equivalent of voting ``present'' in politics. By once again voting ``present,'' the President refused the mantle of leadership at a time of fiscal crisis in our Nation.
Mr. Chairman, we in the Republican Party will take that mantle and continue to put forward an agenda for America that gets our fiscal house in order and empowers the private sector to create new jobs. We listened to the American people, and they concede today our seriousness in dealing with the out-of-control spending problem that we have. In our budget we will show once again that we are serious about reducing these unsustainable deficits. [Page: H1117]
We understand, Mr. Chairman, that out-of-control government spending, borrowing, and debt limits the opportunities available to our children and to our grandchildren to help them achieve the American Dream. We will continue to tackle these tough issues head on. If President Obama believes that his political supporters simply will attack all of our efforts to return this Nation to fiscal sanity, if he believes that by voting ``present'' and by taking a pass on the tough decisions that somehow
he will gain political advantage, Mr. Chairman, I believe that the President has seriously underestimated the political will of the American people and seriously misread the message from the last election.
The American people, Mr. Chairman, understand that the status quo is not sustainable. They understand that we cannot build our economy on top of a mountain of debt. And the American people understand that it is simply unacceptable for the leader of our Nation at this time in our history to be voting ``present.''
This week, the Members of the House are making the difficult choices on this continuing resolution which we have been debating this week. The Republican majority will be presenting our budget in the near future--and we will not be voting ``present.''
I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. DENT. Mr. Chairman, first, I want to say I rise in strong support of Judge Carter's amendment. It's absolutely necessary. Let me give you a few reasons why.
First, I'm cochair of the Cement Caucus along with Congressman Mike Ross of Arkansas. My district is one, if not the top, cement-producing district in America. This is a critical industry to our infrastructure and certainly to the people of our country.
Nationally, the cement industry employs about 17,000 Americans. We've lost more than 4,000 jobs in this industry since 2008. I am deeply concerned that EPA has failed to properly address the economic impact of this NESHAP rule. I'm extremely concerned about this for a variety of reasons. It seems to me in many respects this industry seems to be specifically under attack by the EPA. This rule is critically flawed. It cobbles together a range of different performance characteristics for different
pollutants without determining if it is possible for any single cement plant to comply with all the standards simultaneously.
Nobody has determined if anyone can comply with this rule. This means a lot to the people of my district. This rule is going to restrict our ability to remain competitive with foreign cement producers. Foreign imports currently make up about 20 percent of total U.S. cement sales. Most foreign operators basically are producers. They operate without anything close to the level of environmental standards currently in place in America. While the EPA is trying to limit cement production with this
ill-advised, job-destroying regulation, the Obama administration stimulus is providing financing to build a cement importation terminal in New York City. Stimulus dollars are being used to fund a cement importation terminal in New York City. The cement that's produced in my region supplies the New York market. It's the equivalent of one full plant. Why are we subsidizing foreign producers of cement with our stimulus dollars? It makes no sense.
So the Federal Government on the one hand is enabling foreign producers and on the other hand it's using the EPA to further cripple the domestic industry, which was flat on its back in 2010 and this year in 2011 is going to be even worse. We need a viable infrastructure, we need a viable cement in America. This amendment I think in an effective manner addresses this problem.
Somebody at EPA is going to have to answer for this because I know my constituents were enormously offended that the Federal Government would be doing so much to undermine this industry on the one hand through a stimulus and then on the other hand using EPA to further limit their ability to operate.
Again, this rule could force, we estimate, as many as 18 to 90 cement plants to end operations. Others will be forced to dramatically reduce those operations. So, again, I urge everybody in this Chamber, everybody who's listening, paying attention, please support Judge Carter's amendment. It's important for American jobs and American infrastructure.
Mr. CARTER. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
I would like to address for a moment some of the things that were said by my friends on the other side of the aisle. It's true that there may be 1,300 new jobs, as he quoted. But 1,300 new inspectors are not jobs in the cement industry. The cost of doing the conversion, according to the industry spokesman, is about $3.5 billion industrywide, and even then they're not sure they're meeting all standards that are being required by EPA.
One for-instance in this requirement of EPA is, hydrochloric acid has never been considered a problem by EPA, and all of a sudden there's a regulation on hydrochloric acid. This is an almost $4 billion cost to an industry whose total net worth is approximately $10 billion. That is a tremendous, tremendous burden to place on this industry.
Quite honestly, what we're trying to accomplish by this before this regulation is actually implemented is to say, Time out. We're not funding this until you get back to the table and start working out a reasonable way to save American jobs and not encourage foreign jobs to take jobs away from America. That's what this does. And obviously with this thing that's going on in the port in New York, that's even more horrendous, that we are actually attacking American jobs by our own efforts.
Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, I wanted to be recognized in opposition to this Carter amendment. This has nothing to do with saving costs. This has nothing to do with lowering the deficit. What this amendment would do is to stop EPA from going ahead and enforcing a rule that they put into place dealing with mercury toxic emissions.
It took them 10 years to get that rule in place. And why did they finally adopt a rule? Because mercury is a powerful neurotoxin that causes learning disabilities and developmental damage, especially in young children.
Every year an estimated 60,000 American newborn babies are threatened with a diminished ability to think and learn due to exposure to mercury pollution.
Now we have to balance things out. We want to protect the cement manufacturers. We want them to be profitable. But if we're going to let them continue with that mercury pollution, we're going to have 60,000 kids that are going to be born with neurological problems. Are we a Congress that cares about life? Well, I think we want both--the industry to prosper and to stop the poisoning of our kids.
So we asked the Environmental Protection Agency to adopt a rule. They met with the industry people. They put out a proposed rule. They got comments to their rule. They finally put it into place. And now we would be asked under this amendment to stop it. As the gentleman from Texas suggests, go back and renegotiate. Well, there's nothing to renegotiate. There's no rule in place. The National Association of Clean Air Agencies wrote a letter, which I'm going to make part of the record at the appropriate
time, and they said, Please oppose this amendment. They said, While there will be costs associated with the implementation of the rules, the benefits will far outweigh them. EPA estimates that the regulations will yield $7 billion to $18 billion annually in benefits, which is enormous when compared to the estimated $350 million to $950 million in annual costs that EPA has calculated.
If you want to do it by dollars and cents, this is a real good deal for the [Page: H1118]
American people. But if you want to do it for something even more important--life of babies and children. We're talking about keeping them from being poisoned.
These standards that are being put in place will limit toxic mercury pollution from cement kilns, the third largest source of mercury pollution in America. These standards will reduce mercury pollution from cement kilns by 92 percent. They also reduce other hazardous air pollutants, such as lead, arsenic, dioxins and benzene which are known to cause cancer, birth defects and other catastrophic health consequences. Reducing these toxic chemicals also reduces the fine particulate pollution, or
soot, which interferes with heart and lung function and triggers strokes, heart attacks and lung disease.
The Carter amendment would stop all of these efforts to protect the public health. And the only reason we've heard is that they fear there's going to be a cost to the cement industry. Yes, there will be. But that cost can be handled. And we've always heard throughout the debate on environmental laws that the costs are going to outweigh the benefits. A rigorous economic analysis was conducted and the economic analysis shows that the benefits of this regulation far outweighed the costs to the industry.
Let's not put corporate profits ahead of our children. I urge my colleagues not to agree to this amendment. They're common sense, they'll save money, they'll create jobs, and they'll save lives.
Let me just tell you further what EPA estimated what these standards will prevent.
Up to 2,500 premature deaths; 1,000 emergency room visits; 1,500 heart attacks; 17,000 cases of aggravated asthma; 32,000 cases of upper and lower respiratory symptoms. We're talking about reducing health costs that could amount to $18 billion every year and I think that's a great savings for the American people. I urge opposition to the Carter amendment.
Mr. DENT. Thank you.
I just wanted to address a couple of issues about the EPA. I've tried to point out, very thoughtfully, that the EPA has failed really to properly address the economic impact of this proposed rule. It is critically flawed.
Let me restate once again why this rule is so flawed. Because it does bring together, cobbles together, a range of different performance characteristics for different pollutants without determining if it is possible for any single cement plant to comply with these standards simultaneously. That is the problem. My distinguished colleague from California is making a point that there will be less emissions. That is true. Because there will be fewer plants. They will not be emitting anything. We
expect 18 plants that may be shuttered out of the 90 in this country; tremendous capital investment for an industry critical to our basic infrastructure.
These are high-paying jobs that we're talking about. We can't afford to lose that many more. That industry has become much more efficient over the years. These plants today produce far more than numerous plants would have produced years ago. I just can't emphasize enough that as we are having this great debate about the nature of the economy and jobs, that we would be willfully using regulatory agencies that we know are going to cost thousands of jobs in America, high-paying jobs. When is enough
enough? I won't get into the New York plant again, about how we're using stimulus dollars to bring cement from Peru to New York to serve the market. They're going to kill more jobs than they're going to create with this importation terminal.
I just can't get over this. They're bringing this cement here because they would prefer to have fewer cement trucks from Pennsylvania, and even upstate New York and Maryland supplying New York, they would rather have fewer cement trucks on their roads. They would prefer to have huge ships coming in from Peru with cement rather than deal with the inconvenience of those cement trucks.
My region takes a lot of garbage--trash, waste--from New York. We get garbage trucks every day in my district, with New York garbage. We landfill it. We're required to under the U.S. Constitution, under the interstate commerce clause. It's been to the Supreme Court. We do that. We're not shutting down our State line to them and that industry.
The point is, it's about cement. It's about a basic industry. It's about American jobs. Judge Carter's amendment is the right thing. It's the right thing to do.
Mr. CARTER. I thank you for yielding.
I just want to point out what my friend from California was pointing out. Under the plan that's before us from the EPA, we're pretty well sure that 18 of our 90 plants are going to move offshore. So we get to add 18 plants to the people who are polluting this area of the United States at an almost hundred percent pollutant, and good scientific evidence already tells us that 75 percent of the mercury pollution, which is the argument the gentleman made, is coming from outside the United States.
Now we're adding 18 new plants to the 75 polluters and we're taking 18 plants away from the 25 percent side. To me, I wonder how that balances out to make good sense for those poor sick kids that he was talking about. We're adding more pollution to the unregulated, full-scale polluters, and we're harming
and taking American jobs, the fathers and mothers of those very children he was talking about. They're no longer going to have a job and somebody in China or India is going to have that job. And I think the American people are pretty fed up with us trying to constantly ship good American jobs overseas.
I hear my friends talk about, we are outsourcing. This is a form of outsourcing by regulating us out of business and sending those jobs over to where they open with open arms and no regulations and lower wages, come on in, make your cement, we'll ship it back to the United States and use that New York terminal to bring it into the United States.
I think we need to rethink this. All we're asking is an implementation that doesn't drive us out of the country. It's that simple. It's not that tough.
Mr. WAXMAN. If some of the pollution is coming from offshore, from China, which is true, that's no excuse for us to allow more pollution to come from the sources here in the United States. And simply asking businesses to lower their emission levels does not mean we push them to do business overseas. American businesses have thrived even with environmental regulation.
The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
Mr. MARKEY. What we are hearing this afternoon, Mr. Chairman, is a whole bunch of phony baloney numbers about how this is going to affect the cement industry, about how this is going to affect the concrete industry, when, in fact, industry after industry in the United States has been able to comply with rules which protect the public health and safety.
First, let's just define what we're talking about and why American families are concerned about what the Portland cement industry is doing:
It is airborne mercury which settles in lakes and rivers. It accumulates in fish and shellfish. In its most dangerous form, it is a neurotoxin that can lead to birth defects and stunted brain development.
Since we are at the top of the food chain and doctors and dieticians across the country are urging families to eat more fish, we are simultaneously urging them, especially those with small children or who are women who may be pregnant, to consume these fish that [Page: H1119]
have the neurotoxins in them that we know lead directly to brain damage, that lead to harm in children in our country.
So this is a concrete example of what the Republican majority is now trying to do. This is kind of a regulatory earmark for a single industry, aimed at giving it the right to pollute, to send mercury into our atmosphere, and ultimately into the bodies of the children of our country when we know that thousands of them are going to die from the consumption of that mercury and that thousands more will have an aggravation of asthma, which they already have. The same thing will be true for senior
citizens. Yet they're over here and are almost ignoring the health care impacts on families in our country.
We have people all across the country who are now going through food stores, looking to find what the mercury count is in the food which they're purchasing for their families. Instead, what the majority wants to do here today is to put a pair of Portland cement shoes on the EPA and then throw it into the river. And if the EPA doesn't die from drowning, the mercury is going to kill it. That's ultimately what the impact is going to be of this amendment.
So I understand, if I were a trade association, that I would be arguing, You can't impose any kind of restrictions upon us to protect the children of our country. It's just too expensive. It's too hard for us to do. The Chinese will take advantage of our protecting children from having mercury put into their brains, into their systems.
But do you want to know what? That's not a good enough excuse for our country. Our country is supposed to be the leader in ensuring that the public health of our citizens is protected. What has been constructed here is a very careful balance which ensures that the industry can survive and thrive at the same time that it is protecting the health and safety of the children in our country.
There are, by the way, many other people in the cement manufacturing industry who have contacted me, including companies in my own district, who do not support this position. They say that it is actually quite within their power to be able to comply with these rules in terms of ensuring that mercury is reduced in the production of cement, of concrete in our country.
So this is for the narrow number of small companies which are seeking to be exempted from having to participate in something that the vast majority of the industry can comply with. I do not believe that our country is going to sink to a level where the health and safety of the children in our country are going to be allowed to be compromised by amendments on this House floor on behalf of a single small industry, without any scientific justification except the bleatings that come from those who
do not want to comply, and knowing that the consequences will be the loss of thousands of lives and brain damage done to thousands of more who are children right now but who will be affected by the vote that we cast here today.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. BARTON of Texas. I want to very quickly rise in strong support of Congressman Carter's amendment.
I have three cement plants in my district in Midlothian, Texas. It is the cement capital of Texas.
Mr. Chairman, Republicans are not for no regulation of mercury. We think this particular mercury rule is flawed. My good friend, the former chairman Mr. Waxman of California, talked about the rigorous analysis that was done. His definition of ``rigorous'' and my definition of ``rigorous'' are not one and the same. We think that analysis was fairly flawed.
I would point out that most pollutants--and we do agree that mercury is a pollutant--are measured in tons. Mercury emissions from these plants are measured in pounds per year, so mercury is a trace element of these pollutants. We think that we should go back and actually do a real economic analysis and also a health analysis.
My good friend from Massachusetts was talking about the dangers of health. Those are real dangers. But again, given that the trace amounts of mercury that are emitted per year are in pounds, it is a very tenuous connection to say that the mercury from a cement plant has a direct correlation with some of the potential side effects that the gentleman from Massachusetts was talking about.
So I think this is a good amendment, and I want to support it.
I now yield to my good friend Mr. Akin. I believe he has an amendment to the amendment.
Mr. AKIN. I was intending to offer amendment No. 181, Mr. Chairman, but I decided to withdraw the amendment, and was going to simply speak on the subject.
The Acting CHAIR. The Carter amendment is pending, and the gentleman from Texas has yielded his time.
Mr. DIAZ-BALART. Just very briefly, look. Come on. Let's get real.
Mr. Chairman, everybody supports protecting the environment. Every American supports protecting the environment. We also support protecting the jobs of the people who live within that environment. Yet some of us don't support arbitrary decisions that are made that are going to cost thousands of jobs and that are going to close plants.
So, again, while there is a consensus in this body on protecting the environment, there does not seem to be, Mr. Chairman, a consensus on protecting the jobs of the American people, of those who are desperate for jobs. But without this amendment, we are going to lose more jobs. Let's have some common sense. Let's protect the environment and protect American jobs.
Mr. CARTER. Having raised four children and being a person who cares about children, I was a little offended that I was being accused of wanting to harm children, which is not the purpose of this.
In fact, I would argue that between 75 and 100 percent of the mercury pollutants on two-thirds of the American continent, of the country of America, is coming from foreign sources. Of those who cannot meet these onerous requirements, the only solution they have in order to stay in business is to move to foreign countries, where they do not regulate air quality. I would argue, with this amendment, we are taking it away from the polluters and are saying, Wait a minute. Let's look at this and talk
That's really what we are trying to do, and so I would argue that I'm trying to save the lives of American children because the foreigners are polluting our air, and 75 percent of those pollutants were created by foreign companies where the only choice for these people to stay in business is to move there.
Mr. WAXMAN. I thank you for yielding.
I just am astounded by some of the things that are said in the House, that there has not been a careful analysis of this proposal and the harm that comes with these mercury pollutants, because the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, the people in your State that enforce the clean air laws, talked about regulation yielding $7 billion to $18 billion annually in benefits, which is [Page: H1120]
enormous when compared to the estimated $350 million and $950 million
in annual costs.
Cement plants employ workers who also can get sick from all of this, but the American cement industry did us a report of their own on this; and in November of last year, analysis by the Portland Cement Association predicts that domestic cement production will increase more than 25 percent from today's levels by 2013 when these rules go into effect and more than 50 percent by 2015. So they don't think they're going to be losing jobs under this proposal.
My friend from Texas (Mr. Barton) says, well, these are trace amounts. This is a very intense toxic substance. And he said there hasn't been a vigorous analysis. Well, we've got numbers with the analysis that we've had. I don't know what analysis the cement caucus has for us, but I think that Mr. Markey was correct when he stated this is an industry in certain areas that wants to avoid spending money to stop the pollution from their plants, and it is just not a good excuse to
me to say that because some of the mercury comes from overseas and other places we should allow the mercury to continue right here in the United States.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF
CLEAN AIR AGENCIES,
Washington, DC, February 17, 2011.
DEAR REPRESENTATIVE: On behalf of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA), we are writing to express our opposition to Amendment No. 165 to H.R. 1 (introduced by Rep. John Carter and expected to be considered on February 17, 2011), which would prohibit FY 2011 funds from being used to implement, administer or enforce the ``National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from the Portland Cement Manufacturing Industry and Standards of Performance for Portland Cement
Plants.'' The standards affected by this amendment were published on September 9, 2010 and are designed to reduce emissions of air pollutants from Portland Cement Manufacturing facilities. NACAA is the association of air pollution control agencies in 51 states and territories and over 165 major metropolitan areas across the United States.
The rules EPA adopted are not only consistent with the provisions of the Clean Air Act, but are necessary to protect public health. Portland Cement manufacturing facilities emit mercury, hydrochloric acid, hydrocarbons, dioxins, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and other harmful pollutants, which are known or suspected to cause a host of significant health problems, including cancer, and even death. These facilities are the third largest source in the United States of air emissions of mercury,
which is a persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic air pollutant. Even very low emissions of this potent neurotoxicant can result in unacceptable impacts to the nation's water bodies. To date, all 50 states have issued health advisories for fish consumption due to mercury contamination, with the primary loadings being from atmospheric deposition.
NACAA believes the controls contained in the regulations are essential and should be implemented. The rules will result in significant and much-needed reductions in emissions from cement kilns, including decreases of 92 percent in mercury, 83 percent in total hydrocarbons, 92 percent in particulate matter, 97 percent reduction in acid gases (e.g., hydrochloric acid), 78 percent in sulfur dioxide and 5 percent in nitrogen oxides, according to EPA data. The agency also estimates that the cement
kiln rules will prevent up to 2,500 premature deaths each year and will avert a host of health problems, including cases of aggravated asthma, heart attacks, chronic bronchitis, and upper and lower respiratory symptoms. The reduced emissions from the rules will also result in fewer emergency room visits, hospital admissions, lost work days and lost productivity.
While there will be costs associated with the implementation of the rules, the benefits will far outweigh them. EPA estimates that the regulations will yield $7 billion to $18 billion annually in benefits, which is enormous when compared to the estimated $350 million to $950 million in annual costs that EPA has calculated.
If the amendment is adopted, EPA will be unable to proceed with the implementation of this rule during this fiscal year. As it is, the rules for this source category are already several years overdue, during which time public health has suffered as a result of exposure to unnecessarily high emissions. Further delaying the public health protection from these rules would be detrimental to our nation's residents.
NACAA urges you to allow the NESHAPs and NSPS for Portland Cement plants to proceed as adopted and to provide the public with the cleaner and more healthful air it deserves. Please do not support Amendment No. 165 to H.R. 1.
Thank you for your consideration.
G. VINSON HELLWIG,
NACAA Air Toxics Committee.
Mr. BARTON of Texas. I thank my friend Congressman Serrano.
Would Mr. Waxman agree with me that, if you get one of these new squiggly mercury bulbs and break it, you're going to be exposed to more mercury than the amount of mercury you're exposed to from a cement plant?
Mr. HOLT. Madam Chair, I demand a recorded vote.
The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey will be postponed.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING CHAIR
The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, proceedings will now resume on those amendments printed in the Congressional Record on which proceedings were postponed, in the following order:
Amendment No. 189 by Ms. Woolsey of California.
Amendment No. 208 by Mr. Cole of Oklahoma.
Amendment No. 514 by Mr. Price of North Carolina.
Amendment No. 404 by Mr. Walden of Oregon.
Amendment No. 516 by Mr. Camp of Michigan.
Amendment No. 195 by Mrs. Lummis of Wyoming.
Amendment No. 165 by Mr. Carter of Texas.
Amendment No. 204 by Mr. Scalise of Louisiana.
Amendment No. 458 by Mr. Frank of Massachusetts.
Amendment No. 506 by Mr. Holt of New Jersey.
The Chair will reduce to 2 minutes the time for any electronic vote after the first vote in this series.
AMENDMENT NO. 189 OFFERED BY MS.
The Acting CHAIR. The unfinished business is the demand for a recorded vote on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Woolsey) on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the noes prevailed by voice vote.
The Clerk will redesignate the amendment.
The Clerk redesignated the amendment. [Page: H1138]
The Acting CHAIR. A recorded vote has been demanded.
A recorded vote was ordered.
The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 91, noes 339, not voting 3, as follows:
[Roll No. 80]
Johnson, E. B.
Sanchez, Linda T.
Jackson Lee (TX)
Lungren, Daniel E.
Mr. LUJAN, Ms. HAYWORTH, Messrs. OWENS, MULVANEY, WALZ of Minnesota, Ms. GRANGER, Messrs. QUAYLE, COFFMAN of Colorado, and SCALISE changed their vote from ``aye'' to ``no.''
Messrs. FARR, HONDA, Ms. BERKLEY, Mr. GUTIERREZ, and Ms. CHU changed their vote from ``no'' to ``aye.''
So the amendment was rejected.
The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.