New EPA Air Standard Hurts Manufacturers
Randy Wolken, President & CEO 

The EPA has introduced a significantly stricter National Ambient Air Quality Standard for fine particulate matter by lowering the level from 12 micrograms per cubic meter (PM2.5) of air to 9 micrograms. This change will hurt manufacturers throughout our country, reduce manufacturer’s investment, and halt movement to reshoring manufacturing facilities and jobs.

The air quality in the US is cleaner than ever due in large part to the continued effort of manufacturers to innovate. EPA recently reported that PM2.5 concentrations have declined 42% since 2000.

Enforcing this new standard will place large portions of our nation in nonattainment and force factories in some areas to cease operations. Permitting would become nearly impossible, and many forces of economic development would grind to a halt. A recent analysis commissioned by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and conducted by Oxford Economics indicated that a standard of this severity would reduce the US GDP by nearly $200 billion and eliminate as many as a million jobs through 2031.

Even worse, this will have almost no impact on the air quality since it does not deal with the primary sources of PM2.5, such as wildfire smoke. Costly regulations that cannot be implemented and do little to improve our already outstanding air quality are beyond senseless.

This action will push manufacturers overseas to places like Europe and Asia. For instance, the E.U. standard is currently 25, and they will not even attempt to reach 10 until 2030. The U.K. has a target of 10 by 2040. Also, investment in infrastructure by all levels of government would be significantly affected and likely reduce the level of critical infrastructure needed to modernize and grow our nation.

We are asking you, our members, to contact your congressional representatives to voice your concerns and to ask them to reverse this harmful EPA regulation. For more information, please get in touch with me at [email protected] or Matt Geitner, MACNY’s Director of Government Relations, at [email protected].