The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) and the American Wood Council (AWC) offered a statement at an EPA hearing in Arlington, Virginia today recommending ways to protect both public health and jobs by targeting environmental investments where there is a real need.
"If EPA were to provide more flexible approaches in the Boiler MACT rule, it could protect the environment and public health while preventing severe job losses and billions of dollars in unnecessary regulatory costs," said Tim Hunt, representing AF&PA and AWC at the EPA hearing.
Boiler MACT could cost the forest products industry alone over $6 billion in capital expenditures and hundreds of millions more in annual costs unless significant changes are made. This comes at the heels of the worse economic decline the industry has faced in modern history, with over 350,000 job losses since 2006.
"To be a sustainable industry supporting high paying jobs and providing sustainable products, environmental regulations need to be balanced," Hunt continued. "Otherwise, costs of this scale will force further mill closures and tens or even hundreds of thousands of additional job losses."