The NAM is leading the charge in urging the Biden administration to walk back a proposed revision to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for fine particulate matter (PM2.5).
With the release of a letter signed by more than 70 associations representing nearly every sector of the U.S. economy and a new video advertisement, the NAM is highlighting how these regulatory actions would devastate the economy and actively undermine President Biden’s goal to expand manufacturing in the United States.
What’s going on: When the Environmental Protection Agency set forth the tentative new air quality standards earlier this year, manufacturers quickly recognized that if enacted, the new rules would put an undue burden on the industry—and could force companies to move operations overseas.
- Soon, manufacturers and related associations across the country began to speak out about the harm to their operations and communities, even as they affirmed the industry’s longstanding commitment to a clean, safe environment for all.
The background: The EPA’s proposed changes to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards—currently under review by the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs— would lower the primary annual particulate matter standard from 12.0 µg/m3 to between 8.0 and 10.0 µg/m3.
- The EPA has estimated the total cost of the controls required for compliance with the proposed standard at up to $1.8 billion—and that figure could go higher, the agency admitted
- What’s more, some areas in the U.S. are already in “nonattainment” with the current PM2.5 standard, so a stricter standard will only put them further away from compliance and economic growth.
The costs: According to an analysis by Oxford Analytics and commissioned by the NAM, the revisions would:
- Threaten nearly $200 billion of economic activity and put up to a million current jobs at risk, both directly from manufacturing and indirectly from supply chain spending;
- In addition, growth in restricted areas may be constrained, limiting investment and expansion over the coming years; if the PM2.5 standard moves to 8 from the current 12, nearly 40% of the country will live in nonattainment areas, putting jobs and livelihoods at risk as factories may no longer be able to operate if located in an area that is in nonattainment, and no new facilities can be built to grow economic prospects; and
- Hit California’s manufacturing sector hardest, followed by Michigan and Illinois.
Speaking out: Many manufacturers from all sectors, along with related associations, have made their concerns public.
- Michael Canty, president and CEO of Alloy Precision Technologies of Mentor, Ohio, pointed out that these regulations may force companies to move production to other countries that don’t care about emissions reductions, unlike the U.S.
- Mark Biel, CEO of the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois, also worries that this regulation could make his state less attractive for manufacturers, despite its many assets.
- Dawn Crandall, executive vice president of government relations for the Home Builders Association of Michigan, decried the potential knock-on effects for Michigan’s suffering housing market.
The last word: The proposed changes “would risk jobs and livelihoods by making it even more difficult to obtain permits for new factories, facilities and infrastructure to power economic growth,” leadership from approximately 70 industry groups told White House Chief of Staff Jeffrey Zients yesterday.
- The revisions “would also threaten successful implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act and the important clean energy provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act. … We urge you to ensure the EPA maintains the existing fine particulate matter standards to [safeguard] both continued environmental protection and economic growth.”