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Saturday/Sunday, April 7-8, 2012: Federal regulations and the Safe Chemicals Act

Support Collins on boilers

Some ill-intentioned activists recently criticized Sen. Susan Collins for introducing legislation that would bring sanity to a process gone wrong in the federal regulatory community. Unfortunately, their spin is misrepresenting the good work that Sen. Collins is doing to protect jobs and to assure realistic regulations are developed that can actually be implemented to improve our environment.

Sen. Collins’ bill provides much-needed business and legal certainty and the necessary time in which to make Boiler MACT (Maximum Available Control Technology) compliance investments. With the amendment receiving over 50 votes, it has bipartisan support, not just support from “industry lobbyists.”

Any claim that industry does not want to comply with the Boiler MACT rules is completely untrue, and Sen. Collins’ bill wouldn’t indefinitely delay them. What we do want is to have the opportunity to make investments in controls that can achieve the regulations’ limits and provide legal and business certainty.

Nearly 18,000 men and women and the communities we live in depend on the good-paying jobs that the forest products industry provides in Maine. We produce products that are used across the country and around the world.

Sen. Collins demonstrates true leadership every day in representing the interest of Mainers, and her Boiler MACT bill offers the chance to finalize a rule that protects both jobs and the environment. We should be supporting her efforts, not criticizing them.

Joel Swanton

Northeast Region Manager

Forest Resources Association


Keep us safe, senators

Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins should co-sponsor the Safe Chemicals Act, under which the Environmental Protection Agency will test chemicals for safety and toxicity before they end up on the market. You thought they were tested before they went into products? Think again.

Stain-resistant furniture, floor protectants, nonstick cookware, plastics, light bulbs, etc. threaten health because they contain toxic ingredients. Shampoos contain chemicals known to cause cancer. Lead is still allowed in art supplies, hair dyes, lipstick and even imported candy.

As a mother, I am discouraged that chemicals are allowed that are not tested for safety. Many are contributing to higher rates of cancer, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and dangers to reproductive health. For example, the EPA tried to restrict asbestos in 1989 and failed. No wonder we have to keep raising money to fight cancer. It’s because we’re not fighting to prevent it!

Our 35-year-old toxics law is being reformed to reflect real science. Out of the 80,000 chemicals used in commerce today, 62,000 are “grandfathered.” The EPA has tested just over 200 and regulated only five.

Under this Act, the EPA would be given new authorities to take immediate action to reduce exposure to chemicals that have been known toxins for years.

Our senators have a unique opportunity to protect the health of future generations of Maine families. There would be no better legacy for them than to leave their constituents with a promise of good health and real health reform spelled like this: prevention.

Suzanne A. Foley-Ferguson


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