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API Welcomes EPA Proposal to Retain Primary NAAQS to Support Downward Trend in U.S. Emissions

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WASHINGTON, July 13, 2020 – The American Petroleum Institute today released the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule on the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), which recommends preserving the current primary standards that have supported a downward trend in U.S. emissions.

“API joins with groups across several industry sectors to support this proposed rule. EPA’s proposal to retain the current primary ozone NAAQS will help the U.S. continue to reduce emissions, protect public health consistent with the Clean Air Act, and enable economic growth,” API Senior Vice President of Policy, Economics and Regulatory Affairs Frank Macchiarola said. “The decline in U.S. emissions, which has led to the cleanest air in half a century, is due in large measure to cleaner-burning fuels and advanced technologies.”

A recent report by the EPA shows that 8-hour average ozone levels in ambient air in the United States have fallen 25 percent since 1990. This air quality improvement has resulted in large part from reductions in emissions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, the primary precursors for ozone.

According to the EPA, combined emissions from the six common pollutants dropped by 77 percent. This includes sulfur dioxide (SO2), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and particle pollution (PM2.5 and PM10). During this same period, U.S. gross domestic product increased 285 percent, vehicle miles traveled increased 195 percent, and energy consumption increased 49 percent. In short, under the existing primary Ozone NAAQS, the regulated sectors have innovated and responded to the need to reduce ozone levels responsibly, while continuing to support the American economy.

API represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Our more than 600 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry supports more than ten million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization. In our first 100 years, API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.

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