WASHINGTON – American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule to withdraw federal water quality criteria for the state of Washington. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the action on Wednesday, July 24.
“EPA’s proposed rule recognizes Washington’s stringent, but attainable standards to protect human health for all communities, and we will work to see that this dynamic is ultimately maintained,” said Harman. “Washington has a long record of scientifically-based environmental stewardship. The 2016 rule proposed for withdrawal imposed federally-mandated, unachievable standards that provide no measurable human health improvement.”
BACKGROUND: AF&PA has long advocated that the Obama Administration’s federal rule wrongfully over-rode Washington’s comprehensive approach to high water quality standards. In February of 2017, AF&PA joined with eight other organization in filing a joint petition with EPA, arguing that the Washington state standards provided a more attainable, yet protective approach to water quality. EPA had rejected certain of the state’s proposed standards in August of 2016. The eight primary organizations on the joint petition are: Northwest Pulp & Paper Association; American Forest & Paper Association; Association of Washington Business; Greater Spokane Incorporated; Treated Wood Council; Western Wood Preservers Institute; Utility Water Act Group; and Washington Farm Bureau.