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EPA's Final Particulate Matter Standards Support Continued Emissions Reductions

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WASHINGTON, December 7, 2020 – The American Petroleum Institute (API) today released the following statement in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final proposal to maintain existing Particulate Matter (PM) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), which the EPA is required to review every five years. The decision follows the EPA’s review of the scientific evidence underlying the standards and 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 U.S. has reduced emissions that can contribute to particulate matter – including an 88 percent drop in sulfur dioxide (SO2), and a 61 percent decrease in nitrogen oxide (NOx) – since 2000. The continued transition to cleaner natural gas in the power sector played an important role in those emissions reductions and is important progress that can endure with continued implementation of existing regulations.

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.