Contact: Jennifer Scott (202) 249- 6512  

WASHINGTON (May 21, 2014) - American Chemistry Council Director of Regulatory and Technical Affairs Lorraine Gershman testified this morning before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Power in support of the Promoting New Manufacturing Act , draft legislation that addresses permits issued under the Clean Air Act's pre-construction permitting program known as New Source Review.

"America's chemical industry is undergoing a historic expansion made possible by abundant, affordable supplies of natural gas," Ms. Gershman testified. "This legislation will improve the regulatory permitting process for new and expanded factories and help ensure continued  growth in shale-related manufacturing in the United States."

As of this week, 177 chemical industry projects valued at $112 billion in potential new U.S. investment have been announced. "All of these projects must undergo a lengthy and complex environmental permitting process filled with challenges that could derail the investment," Ms. Gershman said.

"In recent years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has tightened a number of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) without fully implementing them. Lacking clear direction from EPA, state permitting agencies and manufacturing facilities have, at times, been left confused about the requirements to complete the preconstruction permitting process."

The Promoting New Manufacturing Act will improve the permitting process by creating a dashboard with topline data regarding the number of permits issued and length of reviews, requiring EPA to issue guidance concurrent with any new rules so that manufacturers fully understand how to comply, and directing EPA to prepare an annual report to Congress on actions the Agency has taken to expedite the process.

In his State of the Union Address , President Obama highlighted the important role that domestic natural gas is playing in the U.S. economy and committed his Administration to facilitate the permitting process for manufacturing projects. The President said, "Businesses plan to invest almost $100 billion in new factories that use natural gas. I'll cut red tape to help states get those factories built…"

"The Promoting New Manufacturing Act represents a step toward a timely, efficient and transparent regulatory permitting process," concluded Ms. Gershman. "We are hopeful that with continued leadership from this committee and others in the House, we can pass this bill and expedite the unprecedented chemical industry investment planned for the United States."

» View Ms. Gershman's full testimony


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