WASHINGTON (News release) -- The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Heidi Brock and American Wood Council (AWC) President and CEO Jackson Morrill responded to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) announcement of an updated National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM2.5), which lowers the standard to 9 µg/m3.
"EPA's rule delivers a devastating blow to U.S. manufacturing and the economy while doing nothing to address the largest sources of particulate matter, including wildfire smoke. This unworkable air rule undermines President Biden's promise to grow and reshore manufacturing jobs. We are very concerned that many of the modernization projects in the paper and wood products industry and across U.S. manufacturing will no longer be able to move forward.
"The new rule defies common sense. This Administration has set the PM2.5 NAAQS at near background levels, ensuring permit gridlock for most manufacturing sectors around the country, while failing to address 84% of overall PM2.5 emissions. Essential projects that would reduce greenhouse gas and other emissions, create high-paying jobs and allow us to compete in the global economy are now severely at risk. Our industry has demonstrated a continued commitment to be a good steward and community partner. We need sustainable regulation to make environmental progress and keep vital manufacturing jobs in America.