News Category

Forest Products Manufacturers Applaud New EPA Permit Streamlining Rule

Jun 26, 2019

 

AF&PA: Lindsay Murphy/Barbara Riley
(202) 463-2436, comm@afandpa.org

AWC: Heather Stegner
(202) 463-4756, hstegner@awc.org

WASHINGTON – American Wood Council President and CEO Robert Glowinski and American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) issuance of a new rule to reclassify certain major sources as area sources under the Clean Air Act. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the proposed rule on “Once In, Always In” on June 25, 2019.

Robert Glowinski, President and CEO of AWC

“The old ‘Once In, Always In’ policy arbitrarily put a manufacturing facility into a regulatory time warp from which it could never escape. In contrast, EPA’s proposed rule would allow mills that are able to reduce their emissions below Clean Air Act thresholds to be free of onerous additional reporting, monitoring and recordkeeping requirements as long as they operate to stay below the cutoffs.

“Reducing the burdens of complying with these standards creates strong incentives for reducing emissions, while boosting the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers, especially smaller mills.

“We are pleased that EPA has returned to a plain reading of the Clean Air Act for these area source regulations. Codifying the January 2018 Air Office memo that eliminated the old ‘Once In, Always In’ policy is an important step in reforming the cumbersome environmental permit system. Sensible regulations, such as this proposed rule, can provide the protection of health and the environment, while encouraging industry air emissions improvements.”

Donna Harman, President and CEO of AF&PA

“We applaud the EPA for continuing its comprehensive efforts to ‘right size’ the permitting process to align with common sense and the law by removing the ‘Once In, Always In’ policy.  This action will help reduce costly and complex regulatory burdens to the forest products industry. Moreover, the measure eliminates disincentives to voluntary efforts and technical innovations that could reduce emissions.

“Historically, some agency interpretations that are not consistent with the meaning of the Clean Air Act served to create an overly bureaucratic, slow and outdated system. The ‘Once In, Always In’ approach contradicted both the law and common sense by treating a source as major even if production process changes or controls permanently reduced emissions levels to the minor source level.

“The new rule is consistent with our 2017 recommendations to the EPA and Department of Commerce to streamline permitting programs that will support industry’s ability to innovate, invest and create American manufacturing jobs. That’s a goal worth fighting for.”

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About AWC

The American Wood Council (AWC) is the voice of North American wood products manufacturing, an industry that provides almost 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. Staff experts develop state-of-the-art engineering data, technology, and standards for wood products to assure their safe and efficient design, as well as provide information on wood design, green building, and environmental regulations. AWC also advocates for balanced government policies that affect wood products. www.awc.org | @woodcouncil

 

About AF&PA

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, tissue 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 four percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures nearly $300 billion in products annually and employs approximately 950,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $55 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 45 states. Visit AF&PA online at afandpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.