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  • Press Release

ACC Comments on Final EPA Air Rule

HON Impacts Critical Chemistry that Supports Healthcare Access, Semiconductor Production, and Renewable Energy Technologies

Tom Flanagin
Chemistry Creates America Competes

WASHINGTON (April 9, 2024) Today, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) release of its final rule on New Source Performance Standards for the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturing Industry:

Reduction of SOx emissions since 2017 by Responsible Care companies
Reduction of NOx emissions since 2017 by Responsible Care companies

“ACC and our members are committed to helping protect our employees and communities while continuing to provide the innovative products and materials made possible by chemistry. For more than 20 years, through ACC’s Responsible Care program, companies have tracked and reported performance against specific environmental, health, safety and security (EHS&S) metrics, and made this information publicly available. In fact, from 2010 to 2021, Responsible Care facilities reduced Hazardous Air Pollutant emissions by approximately 26 percent; since 2017, members have decreased SOx emissions by 43% and NOx emissions by 18%.

“We are reviewing the details of this final rule as well as its impacts on vital industries across the country. This rule will have significant implications on the production of key chemistries such as ethylene oxide, which supports national priorities like electric vehicle battery development, domestic semiconductor manufacturing, and healthcare access.

“We appreciate EPA addressing some concerns raised by stakeholders, including providing more time to comply with the rule’s expansive and problematic fenceline monitoring requirements and removing impractical controls for important processes like flare operation.

“However, we remain concerned with several other significant aspects of the rule, including EPA’s removal of delay of repair provisions that allow for timely and common-sense periods of repair for small leaks, as well as EPA’s use of a deeply flawed toxicity value for ethylene oxide derived from the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) as a benchmark. This IRIS value defies reason—it is 23,000 times lower than naturally occurring levels found in the human body. Some of the new restrictions threaten to affect the production of chemistries that are needed for countless everyday products and are used in key industries, including agriculture, healthcare, semiconductors, and electric vehicle batteries. Unfortunately, the value’s continued application in this rule along with EPA’s reliance on outdated emissions data has led to a final rulemaking based on inflated risks and speculative benefits.  

“We also remain concerned with the recent onslaught of chemical regulations being put forth by this Administration. Many of these restrictions undermine key priorities of the current Administration, undercutting American jobs, domestic manufacturing, and critical legislation like the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act.  

“Unless the Biden Administration takes a different approach to how it creates and implements regulations, the availability of critical chemistries will dwindle—and the country’s climate, infrastructure, and supply chain priorities will suffer as well.”

Learn more about ACC’s “Chemistry Creates, America Competes” initiative.

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council’s mission is to advocate for the people, policy, and products of chemistry that make the United States the global leader in innovation and manufacturing. To achieve this, we: Champion science-based policy solutions across all levels of government; Drive continuous performance improvement to protect employees and communities through Responsible Care®; Foster the development of sustainability practices throughout ACC member companies; and Communicate authentically with communities about challenges and solutions for a safer, healthier and more sustainable way of life. Our vision is a world made better by chemistry, where people live happier, healthier, and more prosperous lives, safely and sustainably—for generations to come.

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