PaperAge Magazine

U.S. Paper and Wood Product Manufacturers Applaud Air Permit Modernization

Donna Harman "We applaud this initiative for EPA to use modern permitting tools, such as probabilistic approaches to ensure permit decisions reflect real world conditions, as well as sensible offset policies for rural areas so beneficial projects can proceed." – Donna Harman, President and CEO, AF&PA.

April 13, 2018 (Press Release) - American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman and American Wood Council (AWC) President and CEO Robert Glowinski issued the following statement regarding the Trump administration's memorandum directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review its polices for implementing the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) program. The memo, signed by President Donald Trump [on April 12], promotes timely, efficient and successful implementation of air quality standards and permits.

Donna Harman, President and CEO of AF&PA

“Paper and wood products companies represent one of the largest U.S. manufacturing sectors and have invested billions of dollars on environmental stewardship with significant air quality improvements. As our industry employs innovative and sustainable business practices to further that achievement, it should not be put at a competitive disadvantage due to delays and uncertainty in implementing air quality standards or permits. We applaud this initiative for EPA to use modern permitting tools, such as probabilistic approaches to ensure permit decisions reflect real world conditions, as well as sensible offset policies for rural areas so beneficial projects can proceed. Doing so will support our industry's contribution to economic growth and create American manufacturing jobs.”

Robert Glowinski, President and CEO of AWC

“Increasing background levels of criteria pollutants from external sources are a growing challenge to complying with recently lowered NAAQS. Throughout the nation, the gap between background concentrations and NAAQS is shrinking, even as U.S. air quality improves. In rural areas in which our industry operates, current background levels, which include international sources and forest fire emissions, by themselves approach the threshold, leaving little recourse or opportunity for wood product mills. That can force companies to cancel job-creating expansion or improvement projects.

“International transport of ozone and particulate emissions from Asia is a significant component of these background pollutant concentrations, and EPA should utilize the flexibility afforded by statute to minimize impacts on mills as it implements NAAQS. We are pleased that this initiative will expedite the timely processing of permits and state implementation plans so projects are not unnecessarily delayed.”

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AF&PA member companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry's sustainability initiative — Better Practices, Better Planet 2020.

The forest products industry accounts for approximately 4 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures approximately $200 billion in products annually, and employs nearly 900,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 45 states. Visit AF&PA online at www.afandpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.

SOURCE: AF&PA