Both of North Carolina's U.S. Senators are urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ease up on the nation's brick and clay industry as the EPA sets pollution limits for brick kiln emissions.
Senators Kay Hagan and Richard Burr say North Carolina could bear the brunt of the new regulations, as the Tar Heel state has more brick manufacturers than any other state, representing some 1,300 employees.
The two elected officials are part of a 15-member Senate coalition concerned that EPA regulation could cause economic harm to an industry that's already struggling in the wake of the real-estate meltdown. The group on Monday wrote to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Jacob Lew, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, saying the Senators are seeking to strike a balance between protecting jobs and protecting public health.