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Americans for Prosperity Press Release

Americans for Prosperity Applauds EPA Air Quality Reforms

Apr 16, 2020 by AFP

ARLINGTON, Va. – Americans for Prosperity (AFP) expressed support for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to retain existing National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter.

AFP Policy Analyst Martin Rodriguez issued the following statement:

“Americans for Prosperity welcomes EPA actions this week to address critical issues around cost-benefit analysis and air quality regulations. The proposal to lock-in standards for particulate matter is consistent with the Clean Air Act, the Administration’s Back-to-Basics process for reviewing NAAQS, as well as the near-unanimous recommendations of the Agency’s independent science advisors. A decision to unnecessarily ratchet down these standards could have been the costliest regulation in history, with wide swaths of the United States facing severe penalties, permitting barriers, and economic repercussions.”

The EPA’s proposal also reflects dramatic environmental progress, as the United States has among the lowest particulate matter levels in the world (one-sixth of the global average) and concentrations have dropped nationally by roughly 40 percent since 2000. Existing standards, set by the Obama Administration at a level requisite to protect public health with an adequate margin of safety, are being achieved in nearly the entire United States. Most of the remaining “nonattainment” areas are in California, and limited environmental resources are better spent finetuning solutions for those handful of counties.

EPA’s approach to particulate matter has also been the lynchpin to a variety of anti-energy regulations like the Clean Power Plan. AFP encourages the Administration to:

  • Issue their proposal to reform Clean Air Act cost-benefit analyses, which recently began theinteragency review process;
  • Fully embrace all statutory obligations in the NAAQS-setting process, including receiving feedback on any adverse public health, welfare, social, economic, or energy effects from the NAAQS; and
  • Quickly finalize the decision to lock-in existing particulate matter standards as well as addressing the role of particulate matter co-benefits in a final action on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.