The Relief Report

A newsletter covering regulatory reform efforts in Washington and across America, published by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 20 F Street NW, Suite 700 , Washington, D.C. 20001 (202) 507-6398, Fax (301) 498-1301.

Issue #27 - September 26, 1995 * David A. Ridenour, Editor

Hill Watch - Regulatory relief initiatives on Capitol Hill

Reform Needed to Save Teen Jobs to be Subject of October "Corrections Day."

The House of Representative's second "Corrections Day" -- a day set aside for the consideration of legislation that seeks to repeal outdated, useless and just plain dumb regulations -- will take up H.R. 1444, a bill introduced by Representatives Tom Ewing (R-IL) and Larry Combest (R-TX) that would allow 16- and 17-year-old grocery store employees to load safety device-equipped balers and compactors, thus saving teen jobs. Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) has introduced a similar measure (S. 744) in the Senate. Since 1954, grocery employees under the age of 18 have been barred from "operating or assisting to operate" balers, machines used to crush cardboard, under Hazardous Occupation Order Number 12 (HO 12). Under the regulations, teens under the age of 18 are not even permitted to load these machines. HO 12 is a prime example of a regulation that is outdated: According to a 1954 Department of Labor report, the most serious risk posed by operation of baler was "for a person's arm to be caught by the descending plunger should someone else operate the control mechanism while paper was being manually placed in the baler." But these injuries can not occur with modern, safety device-equipped balers used by 90% of the nation's grocers. Teens are forced to pay a high price for the regulation -- reduced employment opportunities. For more information contact the Food Marketing Institute at (202)429-8243, Representative Tom Ewing's office at (202)225-2371, Representative Larry Combest's office at (202)225-4005, or Senator Larry Craig's office at (202)224-2752.

Action Items - What you can do to promote the regulatory relief agenda

The EPA Riders -- Good for People, Good for the Environment

In July, the House approved H.R. 2099, the appropriations bill covering Veterans Affairs, the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs and various other government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The bill included 17 riders that would limit certain EPA activities. Since passage of H.R. 2099, there has been a well-orchestrated campaign to paint the riders as undemocratic and anti-environment. Citizens for Sensible Safeguards, a coalition of establishment labor, environmental and consumer groups, has labeled the riders "...a grotesque misuse of the budget process." The truth is that the EPA riders are neither an abuse of the budget process nor bad for the environment. To follow are talking points on the EPA riders to delineate between the regulation lobby's claims and the facts:

  1. Claim: The riders are an abuse of the budget process. Fact: Appropriations riders -- restrictions placed on use of appropriated funds -- are part of the budget process. During the 1980s, the Democrat Congress used riders to restrict the activities of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and to restrict funds for the Nicaraguan Contras, to name only two examples. Moreover, the "power of the purse" clearly rests in the hands of Congress: The Constitution specifically states, "No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law..."
  2. Claim: The riders were intended to gut vital environmental laws. Fact: The House approved the riders to encourage the Senate and the White House to approve regulatory reform measures already approved by the House -- such as the Clean Water Act -- on a timely basis. They also approved riders to eliminate duplicative and obsolete regulations and to limit the EPA's ability to "legislate" regulations -- a congressional prerogative.
  3. Claim: One rider would bar the EPA from upgrading pollution standards at cement kilns and other hazardous waste incinerators, leading to greater pollution of our air. Fact: The EPA would be barred from enacting new standards that could cause greater harm to the environment. The EPA had been in the process of developing a new hazardous air pollutant standard that would discourage recycling of hazardous wastes through incineration for energy recovery. If permitted to go into effect, the new standard would force cement kilns to use fossil fuels for 100% of their energy needs, increasing air emissions and extractive wastes.
  4. Claim: One provision would result in the destruction of wetlands. Fact: The appropriations provision dealing with wetlands would not destroy wetlands, but simply restrict the EPA's role in wetlands. It is the Army Corps of Engineers -- not the EPA -- that has primary responsibility for the wetlands program and its funding is unaffected by the rider.
  5. Claim: One rider would weaken auto emissions testing. Fact: It would do nothing of the kind. The EPA insists that auto emissions tests be conducted in emissions-testing-only facilities rather than in commercial garages. Not only is the EPA's centralized system less convenient -- it has been overwhelmingly rejected by the public.
  6. Claim: The riders would permit raw sewage to spill onto our nation's beaches and into our streams. Fact: One of the appropriations riders would limit EPA enforcement of outdated sewage outflow procedures because new, more effective procedures have been approved by the House under the Clean Water Act Amendments of 1995. Cities would still be required to comply with the current law. Further, city governments that violated these laws and permitted sewage to flow into rivers, the water supply and on to beaches would not survive very long. Regulatory relief advocates are urging that grassroots activists write opinion/editorials, letters to the editor to their local papers and place calls to their local radio stations to correct misconceptions about the EPA riders.

For more information about appropriations riders, contact the Competitive Enterprise Institute at (202)331-1010 or the Heritage Foundation at (202)546-4400.

Don't Neglect Those Who Support Regulatory Reform, Relief Advocates Say

Just as important as putting heat on Members of Congress who are either undecided or opposed to regulatory reform, according to regulatory relief advocates, is saying "thank you" to those Members who support reform. These Members will hear from the regulation lobby. House Members that advocates say should be thanked include (all 202 area code): Tom DeLay (R-TX), 225-0197; David McIntosh (R-IN), 225-3021; Randy Tate (R-WA), 225-8901; Jack Metcalf (R-WA), 225-2605; Linda Smith (R-WA), 225-3536; Richard Hastings (R-WA), 225-5816; Barbara Cubin (R-WY), 225-2311; Andrea Seastrand (R-CA), 225-3601; and Helen Chenoweth (R-ID), 225-6611. More in the next Relief Report.

Victims' Corner - Stories of personal tragedy or government folly

State Government Wants Its Cut

Just when the Berg family was about to sell the 519 acres they inherited, California's Fish and Wildlife Department moved in for its cut. State bureaucrats demand that the Bergs not only pay for botanical and endangered species studies before selling, but that they give the state an easement of three acres for every acre developed.

"Putting People Back Into the Regulatory Equation"

All correspondence to The Relief Report should be directed to:

The National Center for Public Policy Research * 20 F Street, NW #700 * Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel. (202) 507-6398 * Fax (301) 498-1301 * E-mail [email protected]

©1995, The National Center for Public Policy Research. Coverage of meetings, activities or statements in The Relief Report does not imply endorsement by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Excerpts may be reprinted provided that original source is credited.

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