November 6, 2023

MSCI, NAM Ask White House To Keep Current Air Quality Standards In Place

The Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) joined the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and dozens of other associations last week in sending a letter to White House Chief of Staff Jeffrey Zients. The letter urged the Biden administration to maintain the existing National Ambient Air Quality Standards for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) rather than adopting a new set of standards from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that would harm manufacturers.

According to NAM, by significantly lowering the primary annual particulate matter standard, the EPA’s air quality proposal, which is currently under review by the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, would add at least $1.8 billion in compliance costs for businesses. Additionally, some areas in the United States are already in “nonattainment” with the current standard, so a stricter standard will only put these communities further away from compliance and economic growth.

An analysis  by Oxford Analytics backed up these arguments. It found, if allowed to take effect, the rule would:

  • Threaten nearly $200 billion in economic activity and put up to a million current jobs at risk, both directly from manufacturing and indirectly from supply chain spending;
  • Constrain growth in restricted areas, limiting investment and expansion over the coming years;
  • Put nearly 40 percent of the country in nonattainment areas, putting jobs and livelihoods at risk since factories would no longer be able to operate, and new facilities could not be built, if located in a nonattainment area; and
  • Hit California’s manufacturing sector hardest, followed by Michigan and Illinois.

The revisions would also threaten successful implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and important clean energy provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act. Read more here.

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