AWC promotes the idea of balance at EPA

The American Wood Council is offering advice for the Environmental Protection Agency. Basically, the voice of American wood products manufacturing wants the EPA to ensure that its regulatory process does more good than harm.

As the EPA issued its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on balancing the benefits and costs of regulatory proposals, AWC President & CEO Robert Glowinski urged progress that would improve that balance.

“There has been strong bipartisan consensus among all presidents for the last 37 years that benefit-cost balancing should play a central role in the question of whether and how to regulate,” Glowinski said in a statement. “Despite broad agreement, there has been little progress.”

The advanced notice (ANPRM) – issued June 7 -- requests public comment on how EPA can consider benefits and costs, with greater consistency, transparency and reliability, when interpreting and implementing its regulatory statutes to develop beneficial regulations.

“We support EPA’s efforts toward meaningful regulatory reform,” Glowinski added. The “announcement is an important first step in allowing industries, including American wood products manufacturers, to innovate, create jobs, and compete here and around the world. When we can work together to advance common sense policies and regulations, we liberate our creative potential and increase economic growth and job opportunities, while ensuring environmental stewardship.”

When asked to point to an example of a regulation that introduced high costs at little benefit in the wood products industry, AWC pointed to the Plywood and Composite Wood Product (PCWP) MACT rule.

According to Paul Noe, VP for Public Policy for the AWC, the rule “forced the industry to spend many millions of dollars to incinerate emissions consisting largely of low-toxicity methanol, at the same time generating NOx from the thermal destruction equipment that has an adverse effect on the concentration of ground-level ozone in NOx-limited areas.”