The League joined environmental partners in opposing legislation in the U.S. House that would delay needed health protections set by the Environmental Protection Agency that limit toxic air pollution from brick manufacturing facilities.
Center for Biological Diversity * Earthjustice * Environment America* Environmental Defense Fund
League of Conservation Voters * League of Women Voters* Natural Resources Defense Council
Sierra Club * Southern Environmental Law Center
March 2, 2016
On behalf of our millions of members, the undersigned organizations urge you to oppose the Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns Act of 2016, or BRICK Act (H.R. 4557), scheduled for a vote later this week. This bill is merely the latest in an emerging trend of congressional efforts to delay needed health protections for as long as polluters can keep a legal case alive.
The Clean Air Act requires that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set standards to limit toxic air pollution from brick manufacturing facilities. These facilities emit mercury, a dangerous neurotoxin that harms children’s developing brains, and other dangerous toxins including arsenic and chromium, that are known to cause cancer. Congress required the EPA to set these standards over 15 years ago. EPA finalized these standards late last year, but the brick industry is still fighting to emit more toxic pollution. The BRICK Act aims to help the polluters avoid regulation, since it seeks to further delay implementation of toxic air pollution standards for brick facilities until every polluter’s lawsuit has been fully litigated and appealed, including to the Supreme Court. This would have the effect of stalling these much needed and overdue health protections for as long as industry lawyers can keep a case alive.
The Clean Air Act already contains a mechanism to delay implementation of a rulemaking during a lawsuit if the litigants can prove valid reasons; judges have long handled this situation and are familiar with what factors to consider.
Not only would the BRICK Act delay needed health protections, exposing Americans to more deadly toxic air pollution, but the BRICK Act would also insert the legislative branch into ongoing litigation and interfere with the authority of our judicial branch of government.
Americans have been exposed to toxic pollution from this industry far longer than the law allows. We urge you to stand against further delay and oppose the BRICK Act.
Center for Biological Diversity
Environmental Defense Fund
League of Conservation Voters
League of Women Voters
Natural Resources Defense Council
Southern Environmental Law Center