Memphis Stone’s Parks Testifies Before Congress

Alan Parks shared his company’s experiences with water permitting regulations. Find out about the caution he issued regarding regulatory overreach. 

The House Small Business Committee held a full committee hearing focused on the small business impacts of the rule proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulating “Waters of the United States.” Alan Parks, vice president, Memphis Stone & Gravel Co., Memphis, Tenn., testified on behalf of the industry and the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) sharing his company’s experiences with water permitting regulations.

The hearing, entitled Will EPA’s ”Waters of the United States” Rule Drown Small Businesses?, focused on the jurisdictional overreach of this proposed rule and its effect on small businesses like Memphis Stone & Gravel. Parks discussed the difficulties a small aggregate operator faces under the current system, and how this regulatory burden will become even more onerous under this proposed rule.

In his testimony, Parks cautioned, “Under the proposed rule, the aggregates industry will need more permits. The delay caused by multiple surveys, reports and additional authorizations will add significant new costs during the permitting process, which could lead to abandoning projects once considered viable.”

Parks also said, “There is much inefficiency in the current regulatory system; however, adding vague terms and undefined concepts to an already complicated program is not the way to improve the process.”

Parks reminded the members of the Small Business Committee that aggregates operators depend on reliable cost estimates and clear jurisdictional determinations. “If it is determined development of a site will take too long or cost too much in permitting or mitigation, we won’t move forward on projects, including those vital to the transportation infrastructure needs of the nation,” he said.

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