Letters and comments for January 20, 2012

By Observer Upload January 20, 2012 09:05 pm
Letters and comments for January 20, 2012

Regulations necessary

To the Editor:

The comment “Obama burdensome” made several allegations that ought to be refuted, but I’ll address just a few.

The author claims her brother’s business venture was stymied by unreasonable regulations handed down by the Obama administration.

But South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control is the regulatory authority in his case.

Among its many tasks, the agency is expected to regulate and inspect facilities involved in production, hauling,

processing, packaging and distribution of frozen dairy foods such as ice cream, frozen yogurt, frozen novelties.

The planned business ran afoul of South Carolina’s regulations, not President Obama’s.

The author says her brother carefully researched his business plan but unexpectedly encountered wastewater issues.

A brief Internet search shows what South Carolina law requires: “ ... Liquid waste shall be disposed of in a public sewage system, private sewage system or other method approved by the health authority. When required and when installed, grease traps and interceptors shall be located to be easily accessible for maintenance.”

A careful business person would have approached the Department of Health and Environmental Control with his plan to avoid potential stumbling blocks.

As it turns out, the agency will:

“ ... Provide a free comprehensive review of your plans and specifications for a new or remodeled food service or food store to … make sure your construction plans meet the requirements ... before you spend money to build or remodel.”

The author discusses regulation only as a supposed threat to entrepreneurial job creation. What she ignores is the role regulations play in protecting lives, public health and the environment.

I suspect most people prefer to purchase their food from an establishment that passes health inspections, observes safe food-handling procedures and disposes of solid and liquid waste properly to protect public resources.

The notion that over-regulation is strangling job creation is a persistent and pernicious myth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks the reasons companies cut jobs. Consider this: In 2010, only 0.3 percent of layoffs were attributed to government regulations. By comparison, 25 percent of layoffs were due to a drop in business demand.

Glen Scheele