WASHINGTON, DC, May 13, 2019 (Press Release) -American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to approve almost all of the original water quality standards developed by the state of Washington. EPA announced the action on May 10.
“We support EPA’s approval of Washington’s stringent, but attainable standards to protect human health for all the communities in Washington,” said Harman. “States with scientifically-based records of environmental stewardship should not be subject to federal decisions that impose unachievable standards that provide no measurable human health improvement."
BACKGROUND: AF&PA has long advocated that the Obama Administration’s federal rule wrongfully over-rode Washington’s comprehensive approach to high water quality standards. In February of 2017, AF&PA joined with eight other organization in filing a joint petition with EPA, arguing that the Washington state standards provided a more attainable, yet protective approach to water quality. EPA had rejected certain of the state’s proposed standards in August of 2016. The eight primary organizations on the joint petition are: Northwest Pulp & Paper Association; American Forest & Paper Association; Association of Washington Business; Greater Spokane Incorporated; Treated Wood Council; Western Wood Preservers Institute; Utility Water Act Group; and Washington Farm Bureau.
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AF&PA member companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative — Better Practices, Better Planet 2020. The forest products industry accounts for approximately four percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures nearly $300 billion in products annually and employs approximately 950,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $55 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 45 states.