NAM: New EPA Regulations Could Harm Infrastructure Investment

(NAM) WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following a request from White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council Chair Brenda Mallory asking the Environmental Protection Agency to lower the annual primary standard for particulate matter (PM2.5) to 8.0 μg/m3 and to lower the primary 24-hour standard to 25.0 μg/m3, National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of Domestic Economic Policy Brandon Farris released the following statement:

“Moving the PM2.5 standard all the way down to 8.0 μg/m3 as the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council suggested means 40% of the U.S. population will live in an area considered ‘out of attainment,’ essentially halting construction on bridges, roads, manufacturing facilities and agriculture projects in areas that desperately need development.

“Manufacturing in the U.S. is already among the cleanest in the world, and we don’t have to make a choice between cleaner air and economic prosperity. The EPA can choose both by finalizing a reasonable standard that doesn’t thrust much of the country into an area where no growth can happen.”

Background: A new report conducted by Oxford Economics and commissioned by the NAM warns that the EPA’s proposed air quality regulations for PM2.5 could threaten $162.4 billion to $197.4 billion of economic activity and put 852,100 to 973,900 jobs at risk, both directly from manufacturing and indirectly from supply chain spending. In addition, growth in restricted areas may be constrained, limiting investment and expansion over the coming years. Due to these limited opportunities for expansion or investment, these areas in nonattainment could lose out on an additional $138.4 billion in output and 501,000 jobs through 2027.

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