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Stronger standard will yield up to $46B in net health benefits, administration claims.

Farm Press Staff

February 23, 2024

1 Min Read
Timber harvester
New U.S. air-quality standards could impact the timber industry.UCANR

U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., and other leaders of the Congressional Western Caucus recently joined more than 100 members of the House of Representatives in demanding the Environmental Protection Agency rescind the recently finalized rule for National Ambient Air Quality Standards for fine particulate matter.

“EPA’s recent NAAQS rule is an unnecessary change that puts American manufacturing, forestry, and other industries at risk,” Newhouse said. “America already has stringent clean air standards and ranks in the top 20 globally in air quality.

“This new standard only serves to hamper prosperity across the country for negligible benefits while forcing businesses to close, increasing manufacturing costs, and inflicting harm to communities across the country.”

Text of this letter can be found here.

The EPA on Feb. 7 finalized the rule, which the administration says is a significantly stronger air quality standard that will better protect America’s families, workers, and communities from the dangerous and costly health effects of fine particle pollution.

The agency is also planning complementary standards to reduce pollution from power plants, vehicles and industrial facilities, paired with clean-air spending from the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Lawmakers say the rule will be a death knell for vital U.S. industries, including timber and manufacturing. They say the new standards will be logistically impossible for the industries to execute and would result in the loss of thousands of jobs and billions in economic activity.

Source: Congressional Western Caucus, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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