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Environment

Senate Panel to Focus on Ozone Implementation Challenges

By | Environment, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

This afternoon, the Senate Environment and Public Works‎ Committee will hold a hearing to examine the implementation of the 2015 EPA ozone standard and to discuss legislation to improve the challenges this new regulation has created for manufacturers. In late 2015, in the face of overwhelming opposition from governors, mayors, economic development councils, transportation authorities and all segments of industry, the EPA tightened the ozone standard to 70 parts per billion (ppb), down from 75 ppb. This move was certain to place counties across the U.S. into nonattainment, essentially turning them into “no grow zones” that businesses typically avoid.

The NAM didn’t like the new standard—in fact, we were forced to enlist our own Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action to litigate the final rule—but if that standard is to stay in place, we certainly need help implementing it. More importantly, we need help now, since the 2015 rule’s deadlines are still running. For many areas, the pain could start very soon.

For instance, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District told a House subcommittee last year that, to reduce ozone, it already has taken such extreme steps as banning residents from using their fireplaces in most winter months and implementing regulations that limit the amount of time lids can be off paint cans. Even with these measures, they will not meet the current ozone standard even if they eliminate emissions from all Stationary & Area Sources, Off-road equipment, Farm Equipment, Passenger Vehicles and Heavy-duty trucks. It’s not just California that has these problems. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources noted in its 2015 comments to the proposed rule that there were no effective control measures left available to the state, beyond those already identified and being implemented, to reduce ozone levels in the Atlanta nonattainment area.

The Committee will examine two bills ‎designed to address Ozone implementation issues: S.263, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017, and S. 452, the ORDEAL Act of 2017.  Both would create a more flexible glide path for manufacturers to comply with the 2015 standard, allowing reductions to continue through 2025 without the unnecessary economic pain of ozone nonattainment. Both would also change the five-year review cycle for new standards to a more reasonable 10-year cycle, which is the typical time the agency needs to complete these reviews in real life. S. 263 also take positive steps to address manufacturers’ permitting challenges as they pertain to ozone standards and requires real examination of the impact of international air pollution on domestic ozone levels.

The NAM looks forward to working with the Committee to fix the implementation challenges related to the 2015 ozone standards.

PRESS RELEASE: President Trump Hits the Reset Button on Auto Emissions Rule

By | Environment, Shopfloor Main, Transportation | No Comments

Timmons: Let’s Get CAFE Correct for Manufacturers and Consumers

Today, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) commended President Donald Trump for announcing that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) would reconsider an EPA midnight regulation impacting automobile fuel economy requirements and emissions standards, or the program known as the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards. In doing so, the president committed to restoring the midterm review of emissions standards that uses the best available data. This has been a key manufacturing priority outlined in the NAM’s “Competing to Win” agenda, to ensure smart, balanced and effective regulations with input from a range of stakeholders. Read More

NAM Key-Votes Congressional Resolution of Disapproval on Methane Rule

By | Environment, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

National Association of Manufacturers Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse issued the following key-vote letter in support of H. J. Res. 36, providing for congressional disapproval of the rule submitted by the Bureau of Land Management relating to waste prevention, production subject to royalties and resource conservation.

KVL H.J.Res 36

 

Manufacturers Support Rollback of RMP Rule

By | Environment, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Manufacturers strongly support Rep. Markwayne Mullin’s (R-OK) Disapproval Petition under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: Risk Management Programs under the Clean Air Act (RMP rule). The National Association of Manufacturers has long expressed concerns over the EPA’s proposed and, ultimately, final approach in this rule, which will create significant additional burdens without any safety benefits. The EPA’s RMP rule will overlap and conflict with other federal programs designed to promote safety and security, meaning that the EPA’s proposal will be duplicative and add regulatory burdens for manufacturers—and likely inconsistencies—with no additional benefits. In addition, the disclosure requirements raise concerns related to sensitive business and security data, which could actually threaten facility security.

Manufacturers support the CRA Disapproval Petition offered by Rep. Mullin and look forward to working with him, the other cosponsors and the rest of Congress to ensure this legislation makes it to the president’s desk for his signature.

 

 

Energy-Efficiency Bill Introduced in House and Senate to Promote Public–Private Partnerships

By | Energy, Environment, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Yesterday, Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Chris Coons (D-DE) as lead sponsors, Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) as original cosponsors and Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced the PublicPrivate Partnership Act of 2017, a bill that would encourage the increased use of energy-efficiency tools, services and products in federal facilities. Improving the energy efficiency of federal facilities is a win-win-win. It’s a win for manufacturers who make and supply the equipment; a win for taxpayers who will see their government spend less money on energy bills and directed more toward other public uses; and a win for environmental protection, as greater energy-efficiency deployment often equates to a smaller environmental footprint for buildings and other facilities. Read More

The Other Side of the Story That You Didn’t Hear

By | Environment, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

I was struck by The New York Times article on Okla. Attorney General Scott Pruitt, the nominee to be Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, and the settlement of a long-simmering Arkansas poultry runoff case. I encourage you to take a look at a very different side of the story and its impact here.

It’s fascinating to see the nature of the criticism being leveled against Mr. Pruitt by environmental groups, former EPA administrators and other opponentsand here’s why: he doesn’t view the EPA’s role, and his potential role as administrator, the same way they do. He’s different. And they don’t like it.

But shouldn’t he be different? Shouldn’t he represent change from the status quo? Voters just elected Donald Trump president, in large part, because he pledged to be a disruptor, to dramatically change the way the federal government interacts withwell, everyone. The EPA is no exception. Read More

EPA Midterm Review of Fuel Economy Standards the Latest Example of Why Change Is Needed

By | Environment, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Until recently, the automobile industry’s work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on fuel economy standards had been a great example of how a federal agency and a regulated industry can put politics aside and work together toward a common goal.

Today, the EPA chose to make it political.

The agency jammed through a midnight regulation locking in fuel economy standards for automobiles 14 months before it was supposed to actually complete the rule, relying instead on outdated data. The agency also drastically cut short the opportunity for meaningful public comment and technical review, giving stakeholders less than 30 days from publication in the Federal Register. The EPA also appears to have skipped federal oversight or review by the Office of Management and Budget and excluded the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has been issuing joint fuel economy rules with the EPA since the late 2000s.

The fuel economy and greenhouse gas rules were supposed to be a shining example of how the EPA, other federal agencies, states and the industry can work together to drive environmental progress, technological innovation and economic growth. While more work was, and is, needed to fully realize that vision, the EPA had a chance to ride off into the sunset having built the framework for a collaborative model that could have lasted several more administrations. Instead, it chose politics.

A lot will be made in the coming weeks about the transition to new leadership at the EPA. The NAM released a seven-figure, multistate paid advertising campaign to support the nomination of Okla. Attorney General Scott Pruitt for EPA administrator. When manufacturers and others note their optimism at the prospect of more balance, better process and more reasonable outcomes, it’s actions like today’s by the EPA that motivate a lot of those feelings.