American Petroleum Institute backs EPA decision to maintain particulate matter standards

Published on December 09, 2020 by Dave Kovaleski

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The American Petroleum Institute (API) came out in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final proposal to maintain existing Particulate Matter (PM) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) at its current level.

The EPA is required to review these standards every five years. The decision follows the EPA’s review of the scientific evidence underlying the standards. It is consistent with the recommendation of the agency’s independent Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, which voted 5-1 to retain the current standards.

“Under existing standards, the U.S. has made remarkable progress in reducing emissions and improving air quality,” API Senior Vice President of Policy, Economics and Regulatory Affairs Frank Macchiarola said. “Thanks to cleaner fuels and industry action, we have the cleanest air in half a century, and with smart regulations and continued innovation, we can build on this progress while delivering affordable, reliable energy around the world.”

According to the EPA, the United States has successfully reduced emissions that can contribute to particulate matter since 2000. Specifically, there has been an 84 percent drop in sulfur dioxide (SO2) during that time and a 54 percent decrease in nitrogen oxide (NOx). The ongoing transition to cleaner natural gas in the power sector has played a critical role in reducing emissions reductions. That progress can endure with the continued implementation of existing regulations.

API is an association that represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry.