Events and News

Policy Victory: EPA to Withdraw “Once In, Always In” Policy

January 26, 2018

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency yesterday withdrew the “once in, always in" policy under the Clean Air Act. That policy requires major sources (facilities that release at least 10 tons per year of a single hazardous air pollutant or 25 tons of any combination of HAPs each year) to comply with applicable maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards in perpetuity, even when emissions have been reduced below major-source thresholds. Instead, facilities can now be reclassified as smaller “area sources” subject to less stringent requirements.

“This guidance is based on a plain language reading of the statute that is in line with EPA's guidance for other provisions of the Clean Air Act,” Bill Wehrum, assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Air and Radiation, said in a statement.

The "once in, always in" policy punished industry by keeping facilities under heavy regulation even if they made improvements. The policy change “will reduce the regulatory burden for industries and the states, while continuing to ensure stringent and effective controls on hazardous air pollutants,” Wehrum said.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), chairman of the Senate Environment Committee, said in a statement: “Withdrawal of this policy means manufacturers, oil and gas operations, and other types of industrial facilities will have greater incentive to reduce emissions. Now these companies can help protect the environment without wasting time and money on unnecessary red tape.”

AFS has long opposed the rule, and welcomes the policy's withdrawal as a positive step in encouraging the metalcasting industry to continue seeking further reductions of air emissions. The incentives are in keeping with the industry's commitment to environmentally sustainable growth. Metal castings are an essential part of the manufacturing and defense base.

The American Foundry Society is a dynamic technical and advocacy organization that serves and represents the $33 billion metalcasting industry. AFS is the only association serving the entire industry, including all metals and processes, with a three-part focus on advocacy, education, and innovation. AFS also publishes Modern Casting and Metal Casting Design & Purchasing magazines and presents Metalcasting Congress and CastExpo, the largest trade events in North America. Founded in 1896, the organization is based in Schaumburg, Illinois, with an advocacy office in Washington, D.C. More information is available at afsinc.org.