Dear Sir or Madam, The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) has issued an interim final rule and requested comments on its plan to rescind the 2020 final rule addressing benefit cost analyses under the Clean Air Act. The 2020 final rule “Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Benefits and Costs in the Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process” (hereafter “Benefit Cost Rule”) benefits all stakeholders and provides consistency and greater transparency in analyzing the benefits and costs of rules proposed and finalized under the Clean Air Act. It requires that EPA use consistent procedures and clear data that transparently show how the Agency develops proposed rules will benefit all stakeholders. Today we request that EPA reconsider its plans to rescind the Benefit Cost Rule and, at the very least, issue a replacement rule that addresses the elements of science and transparency as was done in the Benefit Cost Rule.
The Associations and their member companies are committed to adhering to the requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA), with a focus on helping to provide air quality protective of public health and welfare, while continuing to expand equitable economic opportunity in the United States. We have worked collaboratively for many years with the Agency, states, tribal, and local authorities to dramatically reduce air pollution. As a result, between 1970 and 2020, the combined emission of criteria and precursor pollutants have dropped dramatically, while the population grew steadily and the U.S. gross domestic product grew leading up to the pandemic. Over the last two decades , the number of days listed as unhealthy for sensitive groups dropped by almost 70 percent as the amount of criteria pollutants in our air continued to fall. Americans are breathing the cleanest air in decades as the combined emissions of criteria and precursor pollutants were reduced by 78 percent between 1970 and 2020. The past decade is proof that we can achieve environmental progress and economic growth at the same time. Under improved Clean Air Act regulatory provisions, we can build on these achievements with continued innovation and improved technologies.