Posthaste Facts on the Environment #14

Excessive EPA Rules Threaten the Environment

Prouced December 15, 1995

Warning!! E.P.A. regulators are not only bad for the economy -- but hazardous to environmental health. Just ask Bruce Shields.

Mr. Bruce Shields of Wolcott, Vermont, an entrepreneur and semi-retired tree farmer, found the perfect opportunity to start up a small "green" business. For just $2,500 he could buy a small electric distillation unit to recycle anti-freeze. Shields learned from local Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials that used anti-freeze not only posed a potential threat to the water supply -- because the waste was being routinely dumped in landfills -- but that "one man's trash could indeed become another man's treasure." Because there were no anti-freeze recyclers in the area and recycled anti-freeze would cost consumers only about 2/3 the price of new anti-freeze, Shield's simple idea could be spun into a tidy profit -- or so he thought.

To start a recycling business with a low capacity machine -- one that only recycles fifteen gallons of anti-freeze per twelve hour shift -- Shields would have not only needed more than a dozen costly permits, but he would have been required to put up a one million dollar bond.

In a letter to Senator Jim Jeffords, Shields wrote: "the Hazardous Materials law and the accompanying EPA regulation make recycling impossible. The roadblock is one of over-regulation: Used anti-freeze must be treated almost as if it were plutonium waste so that anti-freeze from the recycling process would cost more than double the price of virgin [anti-freeze]. One would have to presume some fiercely politically correct consumers to find any market for the product at all. The regulation causes precisely the opposite effect: Much used anti-freeze enters ground waters."

Source: Mr. Bruce Shields, December 15, 1995


Posthaste Facts on the Environment #14, published by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 501 Capitol Court, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002, 202/543-4110, Fax (202) 543-5975, E-Mail [email protected], Web http://www.nationalcenter.org. For more information about Posthaste #14 contact Bob Adams at 202/543-4110 or [email protected]

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