The Portland Cement Association (PCA) said it opposes the proposed decision from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to tighten the Particulate Matter (PM) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).
The move would reverse the agency’s 2020 decision that was based on expert recommendations using the best and latest available science conducted in accordance with the statutory review process prescribed by the Clean Air Act.
EPA data shows that Fine Particle Pollution (PM2.5) air quality has improved by 37% since the year 2000, and by 8% since the current standards were set in 2021. This downward trend in PM2.5 is expected to continue without today’s EPA ruling in place.
“The EPA’s proposed decision is yet another regulatory burden that could hamper our members’ ability to manufacture sustainable construction materials to meet the nation’s infrastructure needs,” said Mike Ireland, PCA president and CEO.
“This industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars implementing state-of-the-art emission technology controls to comply with stringent PM and other air emissions requirements under federal and state regulations. Our companies have always regarded the safety of the air we breathe as a top priority. The proposed tightening of PM NAAQS will likely result in PM emissions standards being technically and economically infeasible for the industry to meet,” said Ireland.
PCA will provide comments to the EPA on its decision, citing that it is contrary to the best available science, will have significant economic impacts on the industry, and it will stymie the administration’s efforts to implement the historic Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act.