Paper, Wood Products Producers Press Implementation of Existing Ozone Standards

American Wood Council (AWC), Washington, D.C., USA, President and CEO Robert Glowinski and American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), Washington, D.C., President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statements for the organizations’ joint testimony submitted for yesterday’s (June 3) Senate Environment and Public Works hearing on impact and achievability of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) ozone standard. 
The associations’ joint testimony is available online.

Glowinski stated that "we appreciate congressional introduction of legislation and agency oversight activities to allow states to act on the current strict ozone NAAQS. As AWC has consistently expressed, tightening the standards is simply premature when EPA just published implementation policies and schedule for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS earlier this year. The health effects evidence for ozone have not changed significantly since 2008, so states should be allowed to implement the current standard and assess the continued air quality improvements from current programs before moving the goal posts again so soon."  
Harman stated that "EPA should focus on implementing the 2008 ozone standards before shifting focus to further tighten them, and we appreciate Congress’ efforts to bring certainty to this issue by introducing legislation to address our concerns. Lowering the standard at this time could place up to five times more paper and wood product mills at risk with billions in additional controls while the science shows the current standard is protective of public health."

The AWC is the voice of North American wood products manufacturing, representing more than 75% of an industry that provides approximately 400,000 men and women with family-wage jobs. AWC members make products that are essential to everyday life from a renewable resource that absorbs and sequesters carbon. Staff experts develop state-of-the-art engineering data, technology, and standards for wood products to assure their safe and efficient design, as well as provide information on wood design, green building, and environmental regulations. AWC also advocates for balanced government policies that affect wood products. 

The AF&PA serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, 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 4% of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures more than $200 billion in products annually, and employs approximately 900,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 47 states.