TFI reiterates opposition to proposed changes to US air quality standards

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The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has voiced staunch opposition to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) proposed changes to national ambient air quality standards – and called on lawmakers to block the plan.

TFI said on Wednesday that the EPA’s proposed rule – which would lower the standard for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) from 12 micrograms per cubic meter to between 9 and 10 micrograms per cubic meter – would be ‘devastating’ for the country’s fertilizer industry.

The institute noted that PM2.5 emissions have fallen by over 40% over the past 20 years, and are continuing to come down. It argued that the current rules thus strike a reasonable balance between protecting the environment and facilitating robust economic activity.

TFI’s president and CEO, Corey Rosenbusch, remarked that ‘Only two years ago the EPA confirmed that the current standard is protective of public health and the environment. They have not provided any reasoning as to what has changed in the past two years aside from the fact that these emissions continue to decline.’

Rosenbusch added: ‘The need to strengthen the domestic fertilizer industry has been made clear by multiple global crises and echoed by the Biden Administration; now is not the time to hamstring fertilizer production by making new production facilities or the expansion of existing production more difficult or, in many instances, impossible.’

The statement came just over a week after TFI joined more than 70 other industry groups in signing a letter sharply criticizing the EPA’s proposed changes and calling on the agency to maintain its current standards.

The EPA, for its part, has pointed out that fine particulate matter penetrates deep into the lungs and can cause serious health problems. It says that the rule would prevent 4,200 premature deaths per year and bring up to $43bn in net health benefits in 2032.

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