PLATTSBURGH — U.S. Rep. Bill Owens is asking small-business owners to tell him about existing and proposed regulations that hinder economic development and impede job creation.
Business owners are asked to share their experiences and information on a new page on his website.
"I encourage small business to reach out and share information on their interactions with the federal government," Owens said in a press release.
"I have had the opportunity to hear about many of these issues through meetings with constituents, and I hope to cast a wider net with this request for feedback.
"Through this new web page, I look forward to hearing from entrepreneurs across upstate on regulations that are unnecessary, cost money and waste time."
The new web page is http://goo.gl/vJMwf. In addition to information about the business, the site provides space to describe the regulation in question, which agency is responsible for it, the cost and time required to comply and the proposed solution.
TAKING A STAND
Owens said he has worked with local businesses to fight against harmful regulations in the past. He helped IntraPac, a specialty packaging company in Plattsburgh, address a proposed Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulation on noise standards that would have required employers to implement more-expensive engineering solutions.
Owens sent a letter to U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis in December urging her to reconsider the regulation. Its implementation was abandoned in January.
IntraPac Vice President of Operations and Plattsburgh General Manager Bob Blankenheim thanked Owens for his efforts on the company's behalf.
"IntraPac was glad to see Congressman Owens taking a stand for reasonable OSHA regulations that will both maintain worker safety and maintain jobs within the 23rd District," he said.
"The regulation proposed on noise levels would have been impossible for us to meet and would have put every job within our facility in jeopardy. OSHA clearly heard the congressman's concerns about how this regulation would affect jobs in the 23rd District, and we thank him for his efforts."
More recently, Owens was part of a bipartisan group that urged the Environmental Protection Agency to exempt milk spills from being classified in the same manner as oil spills under the Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure program. That regulation, EPA Regional Commissioner Judith Enck told Owens on Feb. 15, would not be adopted.
Owens worked with another bipartisan group to urge the EPA to abandon a proposed rule that would over-regulate waste oil that results from oil changes. He said it is primarily an issue for car dealers and repair shops and has yet to be resolved.
Owens said the new web page is a response to President Barack Obama's call for review of federal regulations in his recent State of the Union address.
"I couldn't agree more that reducing regulation and streamlining government in order to create jobs is a top priority," Owens said.
"I look forward to hearing from local business leaders and farmers on this issue as we work together to create jobs and continue down the path of economic recovery."
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