Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chemical Industry Calls for Improvements to US Regulatory System

Representatives from the chemical industry called on Congress to improve the federal regulatory system," including a requirement for cumulative impact assessments of proposed rules, to protect U.S. innovation, investment and jobs."  Testifying before the House Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight & Government Spending (yes, it's a long title), American Chemistry Council (ACC) Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs Michael Walls noted:

"If manufacturing is to make a significant contribution to economic recovery, including the creation and maintenance of well-paying jobs, it is imperative that we have an accurate understanding of the impact of proposed regulations on industry.  The full regulatory burden for a particular sector can only be known if the cumulative impact of overlapping regulations is identified."
In particular, Walls indicated that industry felt “the lack of cumulative impact assessments is a fundamental shortcoming in the way government agencies develop and evaluate proposed rules.”  According to the ACC press release, Walls offered four recommendations to improve the economic analysis of proposed rules:
  1. Conduct cumulative impact assessments to identify the full regulatory burden being created by a proposed rule.
  2. Track the sectors affected by new regulations so the most heavily regulated sectors can be easily identified and regulations can be streamlined appropriately.
  3. Seek input from the businesses that will be affected before developing rules in order to better understand the effects that a potential rule may have.
  4. Conduct a more comprehensive analysis of the impact of a proposed rule on jobs that considers the type and quality of jobs being affected.  
More information, including Walls' testimony (PDF), can be found on the ACC web site.

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