Jan. 6, 2023 - The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) and American Wood Council (AWC) issued a joint statement following a proposed EPA rulemaking that would tighten National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter:
"We are disappointed that EPA is proposing to significantly tighten the current NAAQS Standard for particulate matter without a clear path to achieve it.
"This reconsideration of the standard is a discretionary action at a time of significant economic uncertainty, while the science also remains unclear and has not significantly changed since EPA established the current standard.
"During the implementation of the many programs under the Clean Air Act, air quality has substantially improved in the United States and is among the best in the world. Moreover, stationary sources that are the focus of this rule constitute less than 20% of overall particular matter emissions and will continue to go down in the years ahead under current air quality programs.
"We are particularly disappointed the NAAQS proposal is not accompanied by an achievable implementation plan that could provide a path to consider all sources, work cooperatively with states on achievable and efficient implementation, and avoid unintended consequences.
"Lowering the NAAQS as proposed could stifle mill modernization projects that otherwise reduce emissions while keeping the U.S. forest products industry globally competitive and supporting high-paying jobs, often in small, rural communities that particularly need economic opportunity.
"AF&PA and AWC will review the proposal and its supporting material in advance of providing comments."
The American Wood Council (AWC) is the voice of North American wood products manufacturing, an industry that provides over 450,000 men and women in the United States with family-wage jobs. AWC represents 86 percent of the structural wood products industry, and members make products that are essential to everyday life from a renewable resource that absorbs and sequesters carbon.
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance U.S. paper and wood products manufacturers through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. The forest products industry is circular in nature. AF&PA member companies make essential products from renewable and recyclable resources, generate renewable bioenergy and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry's sustainability initiative – Better Practices, Better Planet 2030: Sustainable Products for a Sustainable Future.
The forest products industry accounts for approximately four percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures nearly $300 billion in products annually and employs approximately 950,000 people. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $60 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 45 states.
SOURCE: American Forest & Paper Association
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