WASHINGTON – The American Wood Council (AWC) President & CEO Jackson Morrill released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) release of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Plywood and Composite Wood Products (PCWP) proposed amendments.
“The wood products industry installed expensive control technologies to comply with the 2004 PCWP MACT regulations and saw over 90 percent emissions reductions from regulated wood presses and dryers. While AWC continues to evaluate the proposed rule, we’re disappointed that EPA didn’t take advantage of the flexibility provided in the statute to come up with a more targeted proposal that minimizes burdens. EPA has proposed very stringent limits on biomass dryers and requirements on other low emitting equipment that, by EPA’s own estimates, will add tens of millions in additional costs to the industry when the agency concluded in 2020 that risks to the public are acceptable.
“The almost 700 individual lumber kilns that would be affected by this rule, for example, need simple compliance procedures that are tied back to the existing, extensive obligations to meet lumber grading standards in the marketplace that also minimize emissions. We’re also concerned that there may be unintended consequences that would ultimately incentivize mills switching from biomass dryers to those that rely on fossil fuels, resulting in more greenhouse gas emissions.
“We hope that EPA can build from the proposed work practice standards to finalize reasonable and protective approaches that meet Clean Air Act obligations and support the wood products industry. AWC’s member companies strive to be good stewards of the environment and in the communities in which they operate, while producing carbon beneficial products for American homes and businesses. We encourage EPA to keep in mind the additional significant burdens that a new rule would impose as it develops the final rule.”