08 March 2006 20:55 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--The American Chemistry Council (ACC) warned on Wednesday that federal plans to tighten limits on fine particle emissions will further burden the US energy industry, chemicals producers and other manufacturers.
In testimony opposing plans by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) to impose more stringent standards for fine particle pollution controls, ACC regulatory affairs director Ted Cromwell said the EPA action is premature and likely would have unintended consequences.
ACC also cautioned that by increasing the fine particle emissions standard, EPA will force more power companies and energy-intensive industries to use natural gas as a power and heating fuel, putting still more demand pressure on already costly natgas.
EPA proposes to amend the 1997 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrometers or less; the regulation is known as the PM 2.5 rule.
“EPA’s proposal will further increase the demands on our nation’s already burdened energy supply,” Cromwell said. “While the new PM 2.5 rule may be intended to be ‘fuel neutral,’ the regulatory incentives appear to favour the operation of natural gas-fired units while discouraging use of other fuel sources,” Cromwell said.
EPA is gathering public comment on the proposed tougher PM 2.5 rule and is expected to make a final rule later this year.
Other US chemical trade groups and a variety of other manufacturers also have warned EPA that tightening the PM 2.5 rule now would damage US productive capacity and reduce US manufacturers’ competitive position in the global marketplace.
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