CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A record number of West Virginia employers are scheduled to meet with the regional administrator of the federal EPA Tuesday in Philadelphia.

The annual fly-in to the EPA’s Region III headquarters is initiated by the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Chamber President Steve Roberts said there’s more interest than ever because of the way EPA policies are impacting manufacturers.

“The actions of the U.S. EPA are making it extremely difficult for very, very good companies in West Virginia to make and ship a product, keep people working, and we have people who want to go talk to them about this,” Roberts said.

The annual meetings have been taking place for 30 years but Roberts said interest is at an all-time high.

“These people make things. We built our country by making things and we do it very responsibly but we have a U.S. EPA that wants to make things even tougher than they already are,” according to Roberts.

EPA regulations impacting coal production have received the most headlines but Roberts said it’s many other manufacturers, small and large alike, that have their daily operations impacted by EPA decisions.

Roberts said Tuesday’s meeting will be fact-finding.

“A lot of the purpose is to find out what the EPA has in mind, what they plan to do next. To see how we can comply and continue to make the things that everybody wants to buy,” he said.

Roberts’ criticism goes right to the top. He doesn’t anticipate things changing at the EPA while President Barack Obama remains in office.

“We think there’s probably going to be more of the same and this will continue as long as we have a President in office who wants this to continue,” Roberts said.

The Chamber of Commerce will also be hosting an event in Washington, D.C. Tuesday. A “Taste of West Virginia” will take place in the U.S. Senate Hart Building from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.


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  • Wirerowe

    Co2 regulations have never been on the books

  • mike dineen

    The EPA is just enforcing laws that have been on the books for 40 years.

  • Wirerowe

    RHytonen two words lithium Weston.

  • RHytonen

    There is no such thing as a "very, very good company, most ESPECIALLY those in energy extraction.

    Theirbehavior for a century has shown they care about literally nothing but destroying anyone, anything and everything in pursuit of the fastest, cheapest profits.

    Their COMPLETE disregard for the country, the land, our finite resources and fragile infrastructure, and their employees; is the stuff of history and public record,in West Virginia more than anywhere else, and even on this corporatist rag.

    And their budgets for the endless repetition of propaganda here are so monstrous they even have you believing the Big "jobs" Lie while they bring in out of state employees to strip and ship off as much of WV and the US' dwinding resources OVERSEAS as they can fast enough before we can realize and legislate a stop to it.

    And when it stops being SUPER cheap to do so, they leave a devastated WV behind with NO jobs to support a tax base that can fix the damaged infrastructure; along with permanently fouled water, and a moonscape of ugly cut-off mountaintops, deteriorating slurry dams threatening to flood our towns and hollers, enormous child cancer rates, and scattered leaking cancer ponds everywhere.

  • RHytonen

    Two words:

    Regulatory capture.

  • RHytonen

    The EPA is all that stands between us and the corporations that have destroyed democracy, rendering your vote worthless; wrecked the economy, destroyed the job market permanently, and turned this country into a fascist police state, and West Virginia into a sacrifice zone.

  • Tim C

    Waste of time...the EPA is out of control and the sooner we abolish them and return that power to the states, the better.