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Forest Products Manufacturers Applaud EPA Permit Streamlining

American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Donna Harman and American Wood Council President and CEO Robert Glowinski issued the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) issuance of new guidance to reclassify certain major sources as area sources under the Clean Air Act:

Donna Harman, President and CEO of AF&PA
“For too long, the air permit process has been overly bureaucratic, slow and outdated, thereby causing unwarranted red tape, costs and delay for the regulated community. In some cases, these problems have been created by agency interpretations that are not even consistent with the plain meaning of the Clean Air Act as written by the people’s duly elected representatives in Congress. The old ‘Once In, Always In’ approach contradicted both the law and common sense by treating a source as major even if production process changes or controls permanently reduced emissions levels to the minor source level.

“We applaud EPA’s new guidance, which is faithful to the text of the Clean Air Act and will not only reduce unwarranted red tape but will remove disincentives to voluntary efforts and technical innovations that could reduce emissions.

“This action is consistent with our recommendations to EPA and the Department of Commerce in response to President Trump’s early directive on streamlining permitting and reducing regulatory burdens to promote domestic manufacturing.”

Robert Glowinski, President and CEO of AWC
“Reforming the cumbersome environmental permit system is essential to reviving the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing. Eliminating the old ‘Once In, Always In’ policy is a step in the right direction to streamline the air permitting systems.

“We are pleased that EPA has returned to the plain reading of the Clean Air Act for air toxic regulations. The old policy arbitrarily put a facility into a regulatory time warp from which it could never escape.

“Eliminating the OIAI policy creates incentives for facilities to reduce emissions below the regulatory thresholds which is a win for the environment and a win for business.

“The regulatory burdens of complying with a MACT standard are significant, especially for smaller mills, which this policy could help. Mills that are able to reduce their emissions below the threshold, and this guidance gives them an incentive to do so, should be freed of unnecessary reporting, monitoring and recordkeeping requirements as long as they operate controls to stay below the cutoffs.

“Consistent with today’s action, we encourage EPA to make the appropriate changes to the regulations as soon as possible.”

From the American Forest & Paper Association: http://www.afandpa.org/media/news/2018/01/26/forest-products-manufacturers-applaud-epa-permit-streamlining

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