Ceramic Industry

EPA Seeks Input on Air Toxics Rule for Brick Production

January 14, 2010

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants recommendations from small businesses on the best way to regulate air toxics from the production of brick and structural clay products such as roof tiles. The EPA is inviting small businesses to nominate representatives to participate in a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel that will provide input into the development of the agency’s 2010 proposed rule for brick and structural clay products. (This is a change from the past, when the EPA selected panel members in consultation with the U.S. Small Business Administration but did not invite small businesses to nominate representatives.)

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.