How the EPA is Ruining American Industry

Family Security MattersInterview with Rich Trzupek, author of "Regulators Gone Wild"

Rael Jean Isaac

This book could not have been published at a more propitious time. As the economy falters, it seems that every critic of this administration cites the role of regulation in strangling American business and industry--thereby preventing them from hiring new workers. Rich Trzupek, a chemist and environmental consultant for twenty five years, provides much needed chapter and verse, focusing on the devastation wrought by what has become the most abusive agency in the government alphabet soup--the EPA.

Interwoven with the discussion of the EPA's increasingly off-the-wall and often counterproductive regulations, Trzupek provides stories of the real people and companies who are its victims. For example, he tells the story of a retired gentleman who invested his savings in a six unit apartment building in Chicago. This gentleman hired a professional management company to look after the property. Under the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, sellers and landlords of dwellings built before 1978 must provide a form disclosing the presence of lead-based paint on the premises. The management company goofed, failing to send tenants the required form. The Illinois EPA, discovering this omission, demanded over $140,000 in penalties from the owner. This staggering punishment clearly did not fit the supposed crime --and in fact, in this case, there was no crime at all, for the buildings had no lead paint. All that was involved was an inadvertent paperwork mistake. The EPA was immovable. The owner eventually succeeded in having the fine significantly reduced, but only at the cost of huge legal bills from an environmental lawyer who took on the regulatory behemoth.

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