February 27, 2023

Comments On EPA Soot Proposal Are Due In March

As Connecting the Dots reported earlier this year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a rule to tighten limits on fine particle pollution, or soot, which largely comes from burning fossil fuels. Public feedback on this proposed regulation are due March 28, 2023.

MSCI companies should weigh in if they believe this proposed regulation could affect their operations, employees, or community. Click here for instructions about submitting comments and here for additional background on how to structure comments to the EPA.

If implemented as currently written, the proposed rule would limit how much of the pollutant can be in the air on average to a concentration of somewhere between nine and 10 micrograms per cubic meter annually, down from 12 micrograms under a previous standard that was put into place by the Trump administration. The EPA is also considering looser standards of up to 11 micrograms per cubic meter and stricter standards of as low as eight micrograms per cubic meter.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has argued the United States already has strong air standards in place — standards that numerous regions of the country are still working to meet — and that the EPA should not change air permitting rules before meeting those current standards.

The NAM also has noted that, for years, the manufacturing and metals industries have been developing smart, innovative ways to use energy, water, and other resources more sustainably — all while boosting economic growth and creating good jobs.

The new regulations proposed by the EPA could be devastating for companies and for the climate by:

  • Draining resources from innovative manufacturers and imposing additional hurdles to the investment in research and development that fuels progress in energy efficiency and climate action;
  • Making permitting harder, which also would jeopardize new clean energy projects that the United States needs to address climate change; and
  • Hindering the reshoring of U.S. jobs, which will lead to less clean manufacturing in the United States.

Rather than imposing new, unnecessary obligations on manufacturers, the federal government should focus on enforcing the strong regulations that are already in place and give manufacturers the space to find better solutions. The business community, led by NAM, has called on Congress to oppose these harmful regulations.

The industrial metals community can support this effort by sending an email to decisionmakers in Washington, explaining the real impact this damaging proposal would have on industrial metals companies and climate and urging them to stand up against unnecessary regulations. Click here to do so.

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