May 19, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) called on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to review a new regulation that may threaten the viability of the Potash phosphate mine in Aurora, North Carolina.  The regulation, which was finalized by the Obama administration in 2015, would force operators of the mine to install a costly, unproven new technology to limit mercury emissions.  The regulation was put in place despite the EPA’s determination that pre-existing regulations were already sufficient to protect public health.  In his letter, Jones asked Administrator Pruitt to review the regulation for possible revision or elimination.    

“This one just doesn’t make sense,” said Congressman Jones. “Putting 850 jobs at risk for no meaningful public health benefit is unacceptable.  It’s a perfect example of the regulatory overreach that is shackling our nation.  I hope the administrator will see fit to remove this unnecessary threat to one of the key drivers of the Eastern North Carolina economy.”

Congressman Jones urged Administrator Pruitt to review the regulation as part of the regulatory reform process laid out in President Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13777.  Under that order, each federal agency, including the EPA, is directed to establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force. The Task Force is to review agency regulations to identify those that “(i) eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation; (ii) are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective; (iii) impose costs that exceed benefits; (iv) create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies; (v) . . . rely in whole or in part on data, information, or methods that are not publicly available or that are insufficiently transparent to meet the standard for reproducibility; or (vi) derive from or implement Executive Orders or other Presidential directives that have been subsequently rescinded or substantially modified.”  Once relevant regulations are identified, the Task Force is required to make recommendations to the agency head regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification, consistent with applicable law.

Congressman Jones’ letter to Administrator Pruitt is attached.

For additional information, please contact Allison Tucker in Congressman Walter Jones’ office at or (202) 225-3415.