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For Release — January 6, 2009

Business Council says new pollution rules may hurt state's competitiveness

ALBANY— “New state air pollution rules could make New York less competitive for businesses compared to other states,” said Kenneth Adams, president & CEO of The Business Council of New York State. “These new rules will impede efforts by New York manufacturers and power generators to become more productive and energy efficient.”

Adams' comments were in response to the state's revised “new source review” (NSR) regulations, given final approval today by the State Environmental Board. NSR is a program mandated by the federal Clean Air Act that was intended to require major air emission sources to install state-of-the-art pollution controls when they make major renovations.

In comments to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, The Business Council said the new rule will make it difficult for businesses to make routine repairs to equipment and processes. It will also subject changes that result in small emission increases to new recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Rather than tracking recent federal NSR reforms, this rulemaking will result in a program more stringent and more costly than those implemented in other states, making New York less competitive.

“Several months ago, it was reported that the Governor was considering a cabinet-level review process for major regulations that could affect the state's competitiveness,” said Adams. “This NSR rule is a textbook case for a high level, multi-disciplinary review of the impact of new regulations on the state's competitiveness.”

Adams said that major regulations like NSR should be evaluated for their impact on a range of state policy objectives, including reinvestment in existing businesses and improving energy efficiency, in addition to the direct environmental benefits they may produce.

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