Green Bay Innovation Group

Lowering The Pm.25 Would Severly Harm The Forest And Paper Industry

Lowering The Pm.25 Would Severly Harm The Forest And Paper Industry

Marty Oaks

Based up a report from the American Forest & Paper Association, lowering the PM.2.5 NAAQS would severely harm the Forestry Products, Paper Manufacturing, and Pulp Manufacturing in the USA. The EPA rule delivers a devastating blow to U.S. Manufacturing and the economy without a clear path to achieve it. We are very concerned that many of the modernization projects in the USA will be put at risk! The Clean Air Act which was amended in 1990 by setting the standards for six principal pollutants including fine particulate (PM.25). On January 27, 2023, the EPA published a proposed rule to revise the annual PM.25 standard from its current level of twelve micrograms to a lower-level preferred range of 9 or 10. Under current EPA proactive, the standards would immediately apply, giving industry no time to plan for the new standard. Simply, there would not be sufficient permit headroom to obtain a permit. Pulp, Paper and Wood products mills account for less than 1% of the total 2020 PM emissions. The U.S Forest Products industry supports about 925,000 jobs and the Paper Industry has approximately 43,000 employees in 2023 in the USA. Wisconsin has 8,194 people employed in Paper and Pulp Manufacturing. We are witnessing the number of employees in the USA 2011 at 65,040 and 48,364 in 2022 based upon statista. Based upon a recent Oxford Economic analysis found that the proposed standard would reduce U.S. GDP by $200 billion and cost as much as one million American jobs through 2031. It would create a perverse disincentive for American Investment or send American Investments to foreign countries. The evolving and uncertainty regulator burden is at odds with the goal of modernizing and growing U.S. manufacturing. Wisconsin has over 19 Paper Mills that are 50 to 100 years old and without investment, we will continue to see a decline and shutting down of the current plants. The NEW rule could be the final deathblow to Wisconsin. As a State, we need leadership stepping forward protecting our Paper and Pulp Industry in Wisconsin.

It is imperative, the Environmental Protection Agency, the White House, The State of Wisconsin, and our industries strike a balance that achieves sustainable regulations while supporting American Manufacturing.

The new standard represents the first tightening of the rules since 2012. Decades of research have demonstrated that tiny particles are dangerous to people’s health at any concentration. The new standards are still well above the World Health Organization’s recommended limit of 5 micrograms per cubic meter averaged over the years. The air in the U.S. has improved significantly since the 1970 Clean Air Act first began to reduce outdoor air pollution.

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