WASHINGTON -- A new study conducted by Fisher International, a market leader in pulp and paper mill data, concludes almost 17,000 jobs would be lost at pulp and paper mills due to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Maximum Achievable Control Technology rule for industrial boilers (Boiler MACT).

The study, commissioned by the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), also indicates that the ripple effect on the supply chain and local communities, jobs which depend on those mills, could increase the total jobs lost to nearly 72,000 as a result of the proposed Boiler MACT rule.

The study does not include other industries that would be impacted, including composite panel and furniture manufacturing.

“The job losses shown in this study are grim indeed, and it crystallizes the potential impact of the Boiler MACT rule for our industry,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. “The proposed Boiler MACT rule would destroy jobs in our industry at a time when policymakers are rightly saying we need to preserve and grow manufacturing jobs. EPA has a choice -- they can regulate in a way that protects both jobs and the environment, or they can regulate in a way that sacrifices jobs.”

The Boiler MACT jobs study shows the proposed Boiler MACT rule, taken incrementally to other air regulations, would likely cause 30 mill closures and result in the loss of 16,888 jobs – a 14% reduction in the primary pulp and paper sector alone.

The EPA’s proposed Boiler MACT rule sets emission limits for boilers and process heaters located at universities, in small municipalities, food product processors, furniture makers, federal facilities and a wide range of manufacturers. The AF&PA said the rule is so stringent that it could create serious disincentives for the use of renewable energy and be unsustainable for the forest products industry.

Read the American Forest & Paper Association's press release.

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