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Stephanie Salmon, AFS Washington Office; Jeff Hannapel & Christian Richter, The Policy Group, Washington, D.C.


Metalcaster Testifies Before Small Business Committee on Regulatory Relief


CEO, PRL Inc., Cornwall, Pa., testi- fied before the full congressional House Committee on Small Business on March 18. Te committee hearing, Tangled in Red Tape: New Challenges for Small Manufacturers, is available to watch online at Herschkowitz and other small busi-

ness owners testified how a series of new and proposed regulations would impact their respective businesses and industries. Herschkowitz’s comments focused on concerns over a series of one-size-fits-all regulations impacting the metalcasting industry, including OSHA’s crystalline silica rulemaking and EPA’s power plant


Congress Considering Repeal of the Estate Tax

The House Ways and Means Com- mittee recently approved the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015 (H.R. 1104), legislation to repeal the estate tax. The bill introduced by Rep. Kevin Brady (R- Texas) and Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), would amend the tax code to repeal both the estate tax and the Generation- Skipping Transfer Tax. It would also make permanent the maximum 35% gift tax rate and provide a $5 million lifetime gift tax exemption.

Proponents of the bill argue the estate tax hurts individuals who want to pass on their businesses to the next gen- eration. Under current law, the estate tax takes a 40% cut from a taxable estate when a person passes away. While similar pieces of legislation have been introduced in previous years, this year’s bill will likely proceed to the House floor for a vote—the first in a decade—some- time in April. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) introduced the Senate companion to H.R. 1105 at the end of March. AFS sup- ports the measure.

Legislation Would Give States Time to Reach EPA Attainment

Legislation was introduced in Congress by Sen. John Thune (R- S.D.), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas), Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio), Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) and Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D- Ariz.). This bill, the Clean Air, Strong Economies (CASE) Act, would improve the rulemaking process involved with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) review and setting of National Ambient Air Quality Stan- dards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone by requiring better scientific data, more transparency and considerations of feasibility and economic impact. Specifically, the CASE Act would:

• Require the EPA to consider the feasibility and economic impacts of any standard, while still keeping its focus on protecting human health.

• Prevent the EPA from updating the current ozone NAAQS (2008) until at least 85% of any counties in “nonattainment,” or not in compli- ance with the current standard,

achieve such compliance.

• Mandate the EPA use only direct air quality monitoring in designating any counties as being in “nonattain- ment” with the ozone NAAQS.

• Obligate the EPA to incorporate into its regulatory impact analysis at least one cost-benefit analysis that includes benefits based solely upon the reduction of ozone. The EPA is in the process of considering a regulation proposed in November 2014 to tighten the ozone standard to between 65 and 70 parts per billion (ppb). Comments on the proposal were due by March 17. “Nonattainment” designations under EPA’s proposed ozone rule could be devastating for economic and busi- ness development in an area because they lead to permitting delays, restric- tions on expansion and increased costs to industry, including metalcasting facilities. The EPA is expected to issue a final rule by the fall of 2015.

For additional information, contact Stephanie Salmon, AFS Washington Off ice,

202/842-4864, April 2015 MODERN CASTING | 17

rules. She underscored the need for the individual federal agencies to be required to evaluate the cumulative impact of multiple regulatory actions, particularly on small business. Te Small Business committee has

shown considerable interest in regulatory reform. Committee chairman Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) introduced AFS- supported legislation, the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2015 (HR 527), which would close a series of loopholes and ensure all federal agencies appropriately consider the impact of their rules on small busi- nesses. Te measure passed the House and awaits action by the Senate.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), tours Regal Cast, part of PRL Industries, with Janis Herschkowitz.

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