(The Center Square) – The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is one of the many organizations that signed a letter to the Biden administration asking them not to raise the standards for particulate matter.
The letter includes signatures from leaders all over the country, including many manufacturing, mining, and oil and gas associations, asking them not to implement the proposal that’s being looked into by the White House. The opponents say it could make certain projects harder to abide by environmental standards and have the potential to harm economic development.
“The undersigned state and regional associations representing sectors and industries across the U.S. economy urge you to maintain the existing National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particulate matter (PM2.5),” the letter states.
“This proposal could put nearly 40% of the U.S. population in areas of nonattainment, risking jobs and livelihoods across the nation and making it significantly more difficult to obtain permits to build new factories, bridges and roads that will power our economic growth,” the letter continues. “Implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act have the potential to infuse substantial investments into our states and communities, but all of that is now threatened by the permitting restrictions that would flow from this proposal.”
The Center Square reported in May that Phoenix could be one of the cities likely impacted by the proposed standard increase, as the city is already considered to be a “nonattainment” area for both PM10 and ozone, according to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality website.
“The best example: despite hosting some of the nation’s fastest population and economic growth over the past three decades, Arizona’s overall air quality has actually improved. We fear the EPA’s proposal to more stringently regulate fine particulates known as PM2.5 will create dubious public health and environmental benefits, but will cost jobs and hurt employers at a time they can least afford it. This EPA plan needs to return to the drawing board,” Danny Seiden, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told The Center Square in a statement at the time.
Even though they oppose the possible increase, the signers of the letter told Jeff Zients, who is the White House Chief of Staff, that they want to keep the current standards.
“We strongly encourage your administration to maintain the existing standards, which will ensure that we remain among the countries with the cleanest air in the world while also supporting much needed economic growth,” the letter states.