Legislative Letters

RE: Oppose H.R. 1917, the Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns (BRICK) Act and H.R. 1119, the Satisfying Energy Needs and Saving the Environment (SENSE) Act

Mar 6, 2018

March 6, 2018

United States House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20510

RE: Oppose H.R. 1917, the Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns (BRICK) Act and H.R. 1119, the Satisfying Energy Needs and Saving the Environment (SENSE) Act

Dear Representative:

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) works to turn environmental values into national priorities.  Each year, LCV publishes the National Environmental Scorecard, which details the voting records of members of Congress on environmental legislation.  The Scorecard is distributed to LCV members, concerned voters nationwide, and the media.

LCV urges you to vote NO on H.R. 1917 and H.R. 1119, both of which endanger the health of millions of Americans by allowing big industry to release more toxic pollution into our air.

H.R. 1917, the BRICK Act, is yet another attempt to delay much needed public health protections, in this case long overdue limits on deadly toxic pollution – including mercury, arsenic, and chromium – from brick manufacturing facilities. Despite a Congressional mandate 15 years ago that required the EPA to set these standards, the BRICK Act would delay the implementation of these clean air standards until every single case brought by polluters has been litigated and appealed. Delaying these public health protections would expose communities to more toxic air pollution, including known carcinogens and neurotoxins harmful to children’s brain development, would be an appalling prioritization of industrial polluters over people’s basic health and safety.

H.R. 1917 was also modified in the Rules Committee to incorporates H.R. 453, the Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act of 2017. This bill (now section 3 of H.R. 1917) would needlessly delay stronger emission limits for new woodstoves and boilers. These commonsense limits would better protect millions of Americans from a host of hazardous and toxic air pollutants – including particulate matter (soot), nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and carcinogens like benzene and formaldehyde.

H.R. 1119, the SENSE Act, would permanently exempt waste coal burning power plants from meeting certain clean air standards, including limits on hydrogen chloride and sulfur dioxide, both of which can cause significant respiratory problems. The courts have already ruled on this matter and found that waste coal-burning power plants are already meeting these air quality standards, and there is no evidence that allowing for higher levels of pollutants would do anything but expose our communities to dirtier air. The SENSE Act is a clear prioritization of the interests of the waste coal industry over the health of our children, families, and communities.

For these reasons, LCV urges you to oppose H.R. 1917 and H.R. 1119. We will strongly consider including votes on this legislation in the 2018 Scorecard. If you need more information, please call my office at (202) 785-8683 and ask to speak with a member of our government relations team.


Gene Karpinski