Most people working in the private sector have experienced the expansion of government through excessive regulations covering business activities at increasingly intrusive levels. Regardless of political viewpoint, most agree that reform is sorely needed. Right now, federal agencies are actively seeking out and targeting regulations that excessively and unduly burden businesses like yours. Their intent is to evaluate identified regulations for possible reform or even repeal. As described in a Pavement Magazine article posted on July 12, PCTC has provided both the Department of Commerce and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with input and examples about government actions which have harmed the sealcoat industry. Responding to requests for input and information is one way that the public can communicate concerns to the government in the hope that something will be done to address the problem. You also have the opportunity to participate in this important effort. Any individual and any organization can submit comments. Unfortunately, members of the general public do not often weigh in, whereas environmental activist organizations successfully urge their members to submit comments. For this reason, EPA’s Regulatory Reform Task Force received almost half a million comments – including PCTC’s - on its request for input about which regulations should be evaluated for potential repeal, replacement, or modification. Most of the half million did not provide examples of regulations needing change, but were from individuals urging EPA not to change anything about any environmental regulation. In contrast, only 176 comments (including PCTC’s) were received by the Department of Commerce in response to its request for information about regulations that should be scrutinized for potential impacts on manufacturing industries in the US.
Sealcoat businesses should be interested in immediately submitting comments to two federal agencies: the Department of Interior and the Small Business Administration (SBA). The Department of Interior is looking for input about each of its Bureaus, one of which is the USGS. Interior’s request for comments can be accessed at https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0003-0001. The SBA is involved in the government-wide regulatory reform effort through its Office of Advocacy, which has always described its mission as being the voice of small business within the federal government. The Office of Advocacy is holding a series of Roundtables around the country to hear directly from businesses. Roundtables have already happened in Louisiana and Idaho, and two more are scheduled in Ohio: in Cincinnati on August 1 and in Cleveland on August 3. To sign up to attend a roundtable in person, go to SBA’s Regulatory Reform website at https://www.sba.gov/advocacy/regulatory-reform. That website also includes a form to fill out to tell SBA about regulatory burdens that are a drag on your business.
Who knows if the interest in regulatory reform will ever be as high again as it is now. For this reason, PCTC urges everyone in the pavement maintenance business to participate by letting the government know about your concerns.