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U.S. Senators Letter to EPA Expresses Concern about Boiler MACT

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A total of 41 U.S. senators (23 Republicans and 18 Democrats) this week signed a letter sent to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson expressing their concerns about the threat to manufacturing jobs posed by EPA's proposed maximum achievable control technology rule for industrial boilers, commonly known as Boiler MACT. In their letter, the senators stated that "while we support efforts to address serious health threats from air emissions, we also believe that regulations can be crafted in a balanced way that sustains both the environment and jobs."

The senators further stated that "as our nation struggles to recover from the current recession, we are deeply concerned that the pending Clean Air Act boiler MACT regulations could impose onerous burdens on U.S. manufacturers, leading to the loss of potentially thousands of high-paying jobs this sector provides. As the national unemployment rate hovers around 10% and federal, state, and municipal finances continue to be in dire straits, our country should not jeopardize thousands of manufacturing jobs."

Boiler MACT sets emission limits for industrial boilers and process heaters used by a wide range of manufacturers, such as forest products mills, as well as universities, hospitals, small municipal power plants, Federal facilities and many others. The proposed Boiler MACT rule would set emission limits at barely detectable and possibly unachievable levels; require installation of up to four different air pollution control devices that will conflict with other control requirements; and impose costs to the forest products industry resulting in lost jobs, the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA) and American Wood Council (AWC) noted.