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Fredericksburg Businessman Joins NFIB's Fight Against Federal Regulations

Joe Wilson, owner of Perma-Treat Pest Control in Fredericksburg and member of the Economic Development Authority, said EPA and OSHA regulations hurt small businesses.

The National Federation of Independent Business called on local Fredericksburg business owner Joe Wilson to join Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling on an effort to bring attention to what they said is a tidal wave of federal regulations that are adversely impacting small businesses.

On Thursday, Bolling, Wilson and Dona Danziger, owner of the remodeling and tile business Clay Werks in Exmore, joined the NFIB on a conference call with journalists.

Wilson owns Perma-Treat Pest Control. He started the business in 1967 and he has 120 employees and 125 business vehicles. He said federal regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are hurting small businesses. Wilson said the Obama administration is passing more federal regulations instead of trying to pass actual legislation.

"OSHA regulations, especially the ones that have come out recently, are really confusing the way they are written," Wilson said on the conference call. "You really have to study to figure out whether you are covered or not by these regulations and that is a huge problem for small businesses."

Wilson also said he has an issue with the National Labor Relations Board wanting to force businesses to post notices that explain to employees how to start a union.

"What they are doing is disconcerting," he said. "That's akin to asking a happily married couple to post a notice on the bulletin board in their kitchen about what steps to take if you want a divorce. They are very active and they border on harassing businesses."

Wilson also said the federal government is forcing consumers to use gasoline with ethanol and that's costing his business.

"That cuts my gas mileage by what I estimate at least 15 percent," he said.

During an interview before the conference call, Wilson said some of the EPA regulations on using pesticides near open water are necessary, but the EPA cast the net so wide that it catches "those of us who really don't have anything to do with that."

"The fact of the matter is the feds have gotten so entrenched in our lives they are telling us what kind of gasoline to put in our cars, what kind of toilets to put in our bathrooms and what kind of light bulbs to screw into our light sockets," he said. "Are they going to start telling you what kind of bed sheets you can put on your bed? Where does it end?

Danziger said the EPA mandate to test for lead paint has cost her business. She said she had to get a $550 certification and must renew it every five years.

"This mandate is such a far-reaching debacle that it certainly had an impact on my business," she said.

Bolling said that in his role as Virginia's chief job creation officer, he travels the state weekly to chat with large- and small-business owners. He said with nearly 4,100 federal regulations in the pipeline, the estimated cost to the American economy is more than $500 million.

"The two most important things that businesses talk to me about from a cost standpoint is the impact of excessive taxation and excessive regulation on their business," he said. "If you look objectively over the past four years, it is pretty clear that the regulatory burden that is being imposed in our country is out of balance, out of control and it is crushing American business, and small businesses are perhaps influenced by this out-of-control regulatory burden more than anyone else because they don’t have the resources many times to deal with heavy handed regulators."

The NFIB announced that it launched a new website called Stop the Tidal Wave in response to the concerns about federal regulations.

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1Ronald July 27, 2012 at 03:08 PM
EPA is clean water and clean air. The Republicans want to abolish EPA. It doesn't take rocket science to know which way to go on this. When Bush was in the air got dirtier and the water, well you know the rest. Industry has waste, byproducts from manufacture that they need to get rid of. Guess where they want it to go? And then there's that carcinogenic industrial waste product already in your water and toothpaste, and dentist's office--fluoride. Always, say NO! But Mr. Wilson is right-on concerning ethanol which does lower gas mileage but pits Americans against the powerful corn industry which would rather their ears go in your tank than on your BBQ grill. More money for them.
MJWC July 27, 2012 at 03:40 PM
This is an interesting topic that needs more reporting. I understand Mr. Wilson's and Mrs. Danzinger's trepidation. I went to the website the NFIB is pushing and looked through the so called "tidal wave" of regulation. More reporting needs to be done on the "tidal wave" because it appears to be in some ways misleading. Most of the items seem to be day to day operations of the government agencies (ie. granting exceptions to rules, working on renewable energy projects, evaluating industry needs for previously banned substances like Methyl Bromide). A majority of the remaining items are implementation of previously passed legislation (as far back as the 1990's) to govern toxic chemical releases in major mining operations (think cyanide in your back yard well if you live in the mountains), massive animal feeding operations discharges (Tyson Chicken vs. the Chesapeake Bay), and reporting criteria for Oil producers and their Polymer associates (this is extremely important because we are considering openning up our waterways to Big Oil Deep Water Horizon). It sounds like Mr. Wilson and Mrs. Danziger's concerns are unrelated to the majority of the "tidal wave" that the NFIB is fearmongering over. I think we all stand with them regardless of our thoughts on the items from the "tidal wave" listed above. One last gem - the "tidal wave" also lists the removal of the Grey Wolf in Wyoming as a regulation that will hurt small business. MORE REPORTING ON THIS NEEDED!
MJWC July 27, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Removal of the Grey Wolf in Wyoming from the endangered species list, I mean...
Larry Gross July 27, 2012 at 08:36 PM
re: "tidal wave" . The GOP cannot seem to help itself. Ethanol? That was done by George Bush and the GOP. How about doubling of the DOD budget? How about 40 billion dollars a year in direct subsidies for Medicare Part C&D - Mr. Cantor voted for that. The GOP can't seem to do with the truth and reality these days. Most of the "tidal wave" are regs that were in the pipeline from the Bush days.

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