Small Business Majority and EPA talk Clean Air and Jobs

Written by: Khary Dvorak-Ewell, Senior Associate

Over the past few years, the Environmental Protection Agency has been working with other federal agencies to engage with America’s small businesses to provide clear, accurate information about updates to clean air and water protections—and to ask small business owners to help identify concerns and opportunities that arise from these safeguards.

This week, the EPA teamed up with the Small Business Majority for a telephone briefing for small businesses to discuss how pending standards might affect them. Mike Boots, Chief of Staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, joined Gina McCarthy, Assistant Administrator for the EPA Office on Air and Radiation, in sharing information about a number of recent regulatory developments.

The Obama administration has directed federal agencies to work with other agencies and states to make sure that as safeguards for clean air and water are updated, new regulations don’t become burdensome to business. McCarthy noted that EPA is working closely with utilities to ensure that new public health protections limiting mercury and carbon pollution from coal plants won’t significantly affect the price or reliability of electricity that businesses rely on.

The agency is actively reaching out to businesses to identify opportunities to make sure permitting processes are as efficient and effective as possible. She noted that EPA identified a duplicate permitting requirement for gas stations, and repaired it in order to help those small businesses save time and money.

EPA is also working to find ways to recognize businesses that save energy and water, she said.

McCarthy described a number of recent efforts by the Obama administration to protect clean air and clean water and help American families. In particular, she celebrated the recent fuel economy standards announced by President Obama, noting that they will “pay big dividends to American families,” saving $1.7 trillion at the pump, and conserving roughly 12 billion barrels of oil.

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