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Manufacturing Projects in Limbo As They Await Regulatory Guidance

WASHINGTON (October 1, 2015) - The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement in response to the release of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s final ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), which were lowered from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb.

"Today's action puts $10 billion in chemical industry investment at risk. We are very concerned that some projects-new facilities, plant expansions and factory restarts-will remain in limbo until EPA explains how to obtain a permit under the new standards.

"When ozone standards are lowered, they take effect immediately. Manufacturers who want to build or expand must apply for permits showing that their project will comply. It's up to EPA to provide the rules and guidance, but it has often taken years for the Agency to do so. For example, EPA finished the requirements for the 2008 ozone standards just this past March.

"We have discussed the permitting paradox with the Agency, and we hope that guidance for the new standards will be provided soon. Before facilities can even apply for a permit, they need some degree of certainty about the process.

"We are also troubled by EPA's lack of transparency with the underlying scientific data, and that the methodology the Agency used to assess impacts ignored indirect societal and economic costs. These and other systemic issues underscore the need for broader regulatory reform."

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