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The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires the EPA to convene such a panel if a rule may have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small businesses. Under the Clean Air Act, a separate statute, the EPA must issue national emissions standards for new and existing major sources of air toxics from a wide variety of industries, including brick and structural clay products manufacturing. (Air toxics, also known as hazardous air pollutants, are pollutants known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health problems.)
The air toxics regulations that the EPA issued in 2003 for brick and structural clay products manufacturing facilities were nullified by a federal court, so the EPA is beginning the process of developing a new rule. An estimated 82% of the companies operating brick kilns are small businesses.
For more information about participating in the panel, visit www.epa.gov/sbrefa/brickclayproducts.htm.