The NAM fully supports the ongoing national effort to protect our natural environment and improve the public health through appropriate laws and regulations. Environmental laws and regulations should be designed with utmost care to ensure they are effective in achieving their desired objectives, and at the same time avoiding unnecessary adverse economic and social impacts. American industry has established an admirable record in environmental protection and these achievements can generate further progress looking forward toward reducing environmental impacts and increasing sustainable operations. Sound science and appropriate risk management processes should be utilized to better focus our national effort and resources on environmental problems that pose a truly significant risk. Congress and the regulatory agencies should employ rigorous economic analysis to better understand potential economic impacts and cost benefit relationships. This will help identify sensible policy options and optimize the allocation of available resources. In addition, it will help prevent inappropriate requirements that create costly inefficiencies and waste precious economic and natural resources.

Quality of life encompasses complex economic and social considerations including clean air and water, conservation of material and human resources, as well as continued economic development. Comprehensive cost effectiveness studies are essential to sound regulation. Measures to protect environmental quality should be based on factual data, with due regard for their total impacts on employment, energy used, resources, land use, and other regional, national and international social and economic concerns.

A high standard of living depends upon both a healthy environment, robust economic growth and an adequate and secure supply of energy at globally competitive prices. Accordingly, measures to protect environmental quality should address an identified need, be based on facts and credible science, be adopted only when the benefits to be achieved outweigh the costs of implementation, and be implemented in a cost-effective manner. Measures that fail to meet these criteria are likely to lead to misallocation of scarce societal resources.

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2.0. Principles for Sustainability

NAM member companies are committed to advancing sustainability efforts that positively impact manufacturing and industry’s contributions to environmental protection, economic performance and the social well-being of the employees, communities, customers and consumers they serve. NAM members recognize these challenges and will respond by encouraging the adoption of sustainable best practices and application of life cycle analysis practices in the manufacturing sector. NAM members will work proactively with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the voice of manufacturing is heard and is contributing its positive story.

NAM members support the following principles for sustainability in manufacturing:
• Demonstrating that sound economic, social and environmental performance is an element of sustainable companies;
• Encouraging research, development and deployment of innovative, cost-effective technologies and operational improvements that will enhance sustainable manufacturing activities;
• Minimizing natural resource impacts by increasing efficiencies and conservation to optimize raw material input and to reduce waste output;
• Continuing to improve the environmental, health and safety profile of manufacturing and its workforce by improving performance processes and products;
• Recognizing action taken by companies who are leaders in implementing voluntary sustainability practices and procedures;
• Managing land, use and natural resources to provide economic benefit while protecting biodiversity;
• Collaborating and interacting with supply chain members to responsibly manage total environmental impacts; and
• Building sustainable practices to support, attract, develop and retain a highly skilled, diverse workforce.

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2.01. Standards

Standards should reflect the fundamental difference between corrective programs, which involve retrofitting of existing facilities, and preventive programs, which involve the construction of new facilities and manufacture of new products. Standards should not be narrowly based on a single environmental medium, but should take into consideration cross-media impacts that may occur when a standard results in the mere transfer of a pollutant from one medium form to another. In those instances when standards are technology-based, each standard must be technically proven, achievable and cost effective. Once technology has been installed in compliance with current regulations, the installer should not be arbitrarily subjected to changed regulations for a reasonable period of time, taking into consideration the useful life of the equipment.

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2.02. Development and Implementation of Environmental Policy

The federal government should establish a national and coherent environmental policy. Such policy, including environmental laws and regulations, should be based on recognition of the cooperative roles of the federal government, the states, local governments and private enterprise. However, the NAM recognizes that in some cases, including those relating to products, uniform and coherent national regulations are more appropriate. In other cases, the states are best equipped to carry out the development and implementation of environmental laws and regulations. Private entities are required to comply with environmental mandates, which often involve capital and operating expenditures of billions of dollars annually. Eliminating regulatory uncertainty from programs is of paramount importance the continued economic growth of this nation.

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2.02a. Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Risk Management

The costs for environmental protection compete in a society with finite resources to address diverse worthy goals. Environmental laws and regulations should be based on scientific criteria resulting in cost-effective measures that provide significant environmental or human health benefit.

This process includes the application of: risk-based hazard identification and prioritization,
scientifically sound risk analysis, benefit-cost analysis, flexible, efficient and cost-effective risk management, and adequate opportunity for meaningful public participation.

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2.03. Compliance and Enforcement

NAM recognizes that enforcement is a critical component of any environmental protection program. Great advances in environmental protection have resulted from practical, cooperative programs between regulated entities and regulatory agencies. As environmental problems require more technically complicated solutions and the global business environment becomes more competitive, greater emphasis should be given to such cooperative approaches and to providing compliance assistance before violations occur. Enforcement policies should not dictate manufacturing processes to industrial companies.

The government should continue to develop and implement methodologies to measure compliance with environmental regulations and associated environmental improvements. Decreased violations should be viewed in light of improved compliance rates and not as an enforcement failure.

Enforcement policies should recognize the need for regulatory flexibility when unique circumstances exist or unforeseen events occur. States should have adequate flexibility when implementing federal laws and regulations when justified on a case-by-case basis.

Citizen suits can be contrary to sound principles of regulatory law whereby clear standards of conduct are formulated and enforced by a regulatory agency subject to a right of judicial review. Citizen suits introduce uncertainties to pollution control enforcement policies, dissipate resources needed to carry out effective regulatory programs, stimulate litigation and are subject to exploitation. If allowed, such suits should be limited to local persons with affected interests in order to eliminate suits brought for nuisance or harassment purposes. The courts should not approve settlement agreements between regulatory agencies and plaintiffs in citizen suits without the full participation of those regulated.

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2.04. Proprietary and Confidential Information

The protection of proprietary and confidential information is of utmost importance to American industry in environmental programs at all government levels. Industrial companies should be given the full protection intended by Section 1905 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code. Because of the need to protect trade secrets and confidential business information, as well as the need to minimize paperwork burdens, information collection requests by federal agencies and their contractors should comply with the spirit and letter of the Paperwork Reduction Act. There should be no exception for surveys made pursuant to settlement agreements in citizen suits.

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2.05. Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Waste Management

Waste products are generated by all segments of society, including industrial facilities, commercial establishments, residences and federal, state and local government agencies. To help ensure environmental protection and public health, the NAM supports a comprehensive, efficient and effective hazardous and non-hazardous waste management regulatory system that includes an accessible and affordable infrastructure.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a comprehensive regulatory program for the management of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes pursuant to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). In addition, the NAM supports significant voluntary industrial waste minimization initiatives that minimize volume, reduce toxicity and recycle, reuse and reclaim process residues. Successful voluntary programs can improve the protection of the environment and public health and reduce the need for additional legislation and regulation.

2.05a. Regulatory Process

It is imperative that the distinction between hazardous and non-hazardous waste, as well as the distinction between waste and non-waste, remains clear and regulations govern appropriately. Responsible management of hazardous and non-hazardous waste demands that government, the public and industry cooperate in assessing and managing risk and ensuring regulations support various waste activities accordingly.

The NAM recognizes the primary rights and responsibilities of states regarding land use decisions. It is the position of the NAM that the federal government should encourage and support states in their efforts to locate private and public waste management facilities properly within their own jurisdictions. Economic development is dependent on adequate and properly safeguarded waste management facilities, including incineration, landfills and other treatment, storage, disposal facilities (TSDFs). Private ownership and operation of such facilities is desirable.

State responsibility for providing adequate waste disposal and treatment capacity is also recognized by federal law. Federal sanctions requiring states to meet this duty to public health and the environment are appropriate and should be vigorously enforced.

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2.05b. Waste Management Methods

Some methods of managing hazardous waste have come under question regarding their effectiveness in safely mitigating environmental and health hazards. When methods are shown to be ineffective and threatening to human health and the environment, their authorized use must be discontinued. It is the position of the NAM that adequate management capacity and techniques must be encouraged by the federal government and that no reasonably safe method or facility should be banned or prohibited until such time as superior alternative methods and facilities are available to handle the displaced hazardous waste.
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2.05c. State Federal Responsibilities

State agencies are in the best position to consider and act upon local environmental needs and should have primary responsibility for creating and enforcing hazardous and non-hazardous waste management programs. Under existing law, these programs must be at least equivalent to the requirements set out under RCRA.

The NAM supports the EPA’s delegation of and state assumption of regulatory authority over hazardous and non-hazardous waste management programs, so long as environmental protection is assured.

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2.06. Interstate Transport of Waste

The NAM believes the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution precludes the states from regulating interstate transport of waste. The NAM believes that companies need the maximum flexibility in determining the destination of wastes to disposal facilities for purposes of waste minimization, recycling, reclamation or treatment consistent with federal regulations. Bans, differential fees and other limiting barriers would prove detrimental to that flexibility.

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2.07. Toxic Substances Control

The NAM believes the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution precludes the states from regulating interstate transport of waste. The NAM believes that companies need the maximum flexibility in determining the destination of wastes to disposal facilities for purposes of waste minimization, recycling, reclamation or treatment consistent with federal regulations. Bans, differential fees and other limiting barriers would prove detrimental to that flexibility.

2.07a. Toxics Use and Source Reduction

The NAM opposes mandated toxics use reduction (TUR) because TUR encroaches on the business decisions of all manufacturers concerning what products to manufacture and how best to make them. Restrictions on manufacturing inputs will reduce the ability of domestic producers to compete in U.S. markets and to supply important export markets.

TUR would also require the reduction and elimination of chemicals through:
• Federally mandated goals imposed on hundreds of chemicals in thousands of production processes, which would be inappropriate and unachievable. The NAM believes goals must be voluntary and achievable.
• Plans that would require comprehensive disclosure of process stream data. Trade secret protections are essential. TUR, if implemented under the RCRA, as some have suggested, would make RCRA a multi-media pollution prevention and chemical use control program duplicative of the TSCA. The NAM believes RCRA should retain its traditional forum on waste management, not raw materials.

As a regulatory approach the NAM supports risk management to control the use of chemicals, not TUR, for the following reasons:
• TUR would not provide for risk determinations; they are provided for under TSCA. The NAM opposes phase-outs and bans on the production and use of specific chemicals without a determination of unreasonable risk.
• TUR would require the reduction or elimination of chemicals based on toxicity levels or listing. Scarce resources would be channeled to reformulation on the basis of the chemicals that make up the list.
• TUR would deprive society of the beneficial uses of chemicals in an attempt to eliminate risk. Greater or different risks might be incurred from alternatives.

TUR compliance deadlines should be extended for compliance strategies that result in environmental benefit and innovation or that strengthen U.S. competitiveness.

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2.07b. Chemical Regulation and Management System

The NAM supports human health and environmental protection and has demonstrated firm resolve to ensure that chemicals are developed, manufactured, distributed and used safely. Government at all levels, the private sector and concerned citizens across the country must be involved in this effort in an important partnership and commitment to action.

NAM members are committed to manufacturing safe, innovative and sustainable products that provide essential benefits to consumers while protecting human health and the environment. Ensuring the safety of products is the single most important goal of manufacturers. Product safety provides the foundation of consumer trust, and manufacturers devote significant resources to achieve this goal.  As such, in addition to environmental impacts, economic impacts should be reviewed and evaluated in all proposed regulations, including, but not limited to, pre-manufacture notification, testing, notification of substantial risk, recordkeeping, reporting and confidentiality. Economic and societal benefits and cost impacts and benefits should be considered in risk management determinations. It is of the utmost importance that innovation, safe product development and affordable consumer choice be encouraged. Any unnecessary barriers should be avoided.

The U.S. chemical management system should be based on credible and valid scientific information. After prioritization, a tiered and targeted testing system should be developed that considers sensitive subpopulations, such as children, while targeting substances posing the greatest potential risk.

A chemical management system should:
• Prioritize chemicals for environmental, human health and safety assessments and management taking into consideration the degree of hazard and reasonable exposure potential associated with intended uses;
• Require testing when existing, credible and validated data are not adequate, avoid unnecessary animal testing;
• Coordinate the global data requirements of other international regulatory programs and maximize the use of data from such programs to avoid duplicative chemical screening processes and data development;
• Provide reasonable timeframes for compliance; and
• Ensure transparency, clarity and stakeholder participation.

The EPA should evaluate hazard, use and exposure information to understand chemical risks. It should have the authority, in conjunction with input from stakeholders, to evaluate whether the intended uses of chemicals are safe. This evaluation should be an assessment of risk, which is the nature and likelihood of harm, based on an analysis of the chemical’s hazard characteristics and exposure considerations. Decisions on chemical management should be based on chemical risk assessments.

The EPA should have the authority to share appropriate confidential business information with state, local and select foreign governments in accordance with Section 1905 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code and other governing authorities when it is relevant to a regulatory decision on chemical safety and when there are sufficient safeguards against inappropriate disclosure.

The U.S. chemical management system should be maintained at the federal level to establish and enforce consistent requirements among federal agencies and states to ensure the flow of interstate commerce. A “patchwork” approach to chemical management, in which individual states have their own chemical requirements, is ineffective, is contrary to principles of free interstate commerce, and decreases the competitiveness of U.S. businesses. To avoid overlap, policies should be coordinated to establish consistent standards and requirements, enhance protection of the public, promote innovation and competitiveness, and avoid duplication, public confusion and unnecessary negative economic impacts.

2.08. Superfund Reform Principles

NAM NAM members have a substantial interest and concern regarding the requirements and operations of the Superfund program. While the NAM supports Superfund's goal of protecting human health and the environment, the Superfund program often requires an extraordinary investment of resources to obtain limited environmental benefits. Private sector spending on superfund also drains funds from investment in people, plants and equipment.

Retroactive redefinition of liability, application of joint and several liability to independent parties and imposition of effectively perpetual liability violate basic principles of equity and cripple efforts to improve management of hazardous substances. It is the position of the NAM that restoration of predictable standards of liability is essential to the efficient management of hazardous substances. Such predictability provides an avenue for choosing whether to manage the liabilities through insurance or by demonstrating financial responsibility.

If Superfund is to achieve its goals in a cost-effective manner, legislative reform should be based on the following principles. First, provide that Superfund is to be used only for sites that present real, significant risks to human health or the environment and that cannot be remediated in a timely manner under other programs, including state voluntary cleanup programs. Second, it must be consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision in Burlington Northern v. EPA, holding responsible parties liable only for their fair share of the response costs unless there is no legitimate basis to allocate liability among the responsible parties.

Congress should construct a fair, broad-based funding system that recognizes that the public and private sectors, as well as individuals, have contributed to the creation of Superfund sites. Superfund sites resulted from manufacturing processes and disposal practices that benefitted society and such social costs should be spread over a broad spectrum of taxpayers. Congress should avoid where possible piecemeal reauthorization of Superfund, such as granting carve-outs from liability for municipalities. These will only further damage the program. Congress should select remedies based on sound science, realistic risk assessments and practical solutions. The law must recognize the limits of present technology, the need for practical solutions and site-specific risk assessments that focus on actual or probable exposure scenarios. Congress should limit recoveries for natural resource damages to the amounts needed to restore, replace, or acquire the equivalent of any injured natural resources. Finally, Congress should provide complete relief from future liability for a party who remediates a site.

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2.09. Product Labeling and Marketing Standards

The NAM opposes the use of overly simplistic logos, symbols or seals that do not consider the complexity of environmental science. A product label, when correctly used and understood by consumers, can facilitate consumer understanding. The NAM supports voluntary environmental labeling designed to communicate the following: manufacturers' commitment to the environment and protection of human health; the shared responsibility of government, industry and the consumer to create and support the recycling infrastructure; and information pertaining to recyclability, reuse and use of recycled materials.

The NAM encourages the use of uniform, national standards for voluntary labeling.

Product claims should be substantiated by the manufacturers. These claims should be supported by uniform, generally accepted definitions and technical standards. The NAM supports enforcement against fraudulent or intentionally misleading claims. Enforcement of labeling should be conducted by the Federal Trade Commission with technical guidance from the appropriate governmental entities, technical agencies, industry and considering all other technically accurate information.

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2.10. Water Quality Control

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended by the Clean Water Act, established the objective to restore and maintain the quality of the nation’s waters. Through limitations on wastewater discharges, water quality in the U.S. has significantly improved. American industry has made a major contribution to this national effort and will continue to support its objectives. Back to top                  

2.10a. Pretreatment

The Clean Water Act requires the establishment of pretreatment standards by the EPA for pollutants that interfere with, pass through or otherwise are incompatible with a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW), as well as for those pollutants that prevent sludge use or disposal by such works. These standards are uniform, with no provision for adjustments.

A POTW is a public utility that is financially supported by industry, commercial establishments, institutions and residences. Like other such utilities, POTWs provide necessary services that support employment and economic growth. Many NAM members rely on the services provided by POTWs and thus have an interest in their efficient and continuous operation. The NAM supports pretreatment where it is demonstrably required to protect the operation of the POTW, prevent discharges that would violate the POTW’s permit, or prevent the generation of sludge that would not meet regulatory standards.

The NAM also supports equitable user charges that are based on the true cost of treating a company's wastewater. The NAM further supports pre-treatment programs that incorporate the flexibility needed to respond to local conditions in cost effective ways that meet the goals of the Clean Water Act.

The NAM specifically recommends that:
• POTW authorities be allowed to implement their own pretreatment programs, which would include the establishment of local pretreatment standards as necessary to meet established permit conditions.
• All POTW National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits be enforced in the same manner as industrial NPDES permits, placing the responsibility for POTW discharges on the municipality in those cases where non-compliance results from POTW deficiencies as opposed to violations of permit limits by indirect dischargers. Non-compliance costs should be allocated accordingly.
• The EPA should retain a role in pretreatment by issuing guidelines to assist POTWs in understanding the elements of the programs necessary to meet the established permit limitations.
• Each state ensures that each POTW meets its NPDES permit. Only after the state and the POTW have failed to initiate action within a reasonable time after violation of the POTW's NPDES permit should the EPA become involved.
• Each POTW be solely responsible for its relationship with its customers. Federal or state agencies should not unduly interfere with decisions POTWs make to ensure adequate treatment of discharges from industrial customers.

The NAM also recommends that the EPA consider integrated facilities when establishing categorical pretreatment standards. Some industries have diverse manufacturing operations that are subject to more than one categorical pretreatment standard. In these "integrated facilities," it may be more cost-effective to combine waste water from each individual operation for treatment purposes. However, categorical pretreatment standards that apply to separate wastewater streams can be a barrier to such cost-effective pretreatment methods.

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2.10b. Best Available Technology Economically Achievable (BAT)

The installation of pollution control equipment by U.S. industry to meet current legal limits has resulted in major improvements in water quality. The NAM believes that the Clean Water Act should be implemented in a manner that protects human health and the environment while avoiding costly treatment requirements and other restrictions on industrial discharges that result in little, if any, additional benefit to the quality of U.S. waters. BAT can be defined, in effect, as the best control and treatment measures that have been or are capable of being used. Given the efficacy of existing treatment facilities in removing toxic pollutants and the unrealistic statutory deadlines for establishing toxic effluent limitations, the NAM makes the following recommendations:
• BAT limitations should be required only where there is a significant toxics problem. "Significant toxics problem" should be defined where present limitations are not protecting receiving waters and where further abatement of toxics would have a measurable effect on receiving waters. Situations where a pollutant is present in the effluent solely as a result of its presence in intake waters should not be considered a significant toxics problem.
• Additional requirements for non-conventional pollutants should not be applied unless water quality demands it.
• A risk-based approach to the regulation of effluent discharges should be adopted.

Back to top                Adopted Winter 2008 Effective until Winter 2012 

2.10c. Nonpoint Source Pollution

The relationships between and relative impacts of point and nonpoint sources differ from one part of the country to another, making it difficult to establish a uniform program. What is needed is a balanced approach to point and nonpoint problems that focuses on the water quality of the watershed in question. The NAM, therefore, supports the following:
• More extensive treatment should not be required of any point source dischargers if such treatment will have no appreciable impact on the quality of the receiving waters.
• Effective management of nonpoint sources of water pollution will be achieved through state and regionally developed programs, taking into account regional differences. The EPA should provide technical and funding assistance, but should not assume the role of developing a uniform federal nonpoint program.

Congress should stress the need for improving the capability to assess the nation's water quality, to aid in determining the relative impact of point and nonpoint sources on water quality and the ability of waters to meet their designated uses. Conclusions derived from the data can then be used to better allocate the nation's resources in achieving our water quality goals.

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2.10d. Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Issues

The NAM opposes expanded federal jurisdiction over “all intrastate” and “intermittent waters” on the grounds that it raises constitutional concerns and contravenes the intent of the authors of the Clean Water Act. The NAM supports the continued use of the term “navigable waters” in the Clean Water Act and opposes overly broad interpretations of that term and the term “waters of the United States.” The term “waters of the United States” should be interpreted to mean waters that are navigable in fact or that have a relatively permanent surface connection to a water that is navigable in fact. The NAM supports continued federal-state partnerships as an effective means of implementing the goals of the Clean Water Act.

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2.10e. U.S. Coastal and Ocean Resources

The NAM supports multiple uses of the nation’s coastal and ocean resources. Current federal environmental statutes allow the nation’s coastal waters to be used for purposes ranging from resource development to recreation and conservation. The NAM believes that an overly prescriptive coastal and ocean resources policy will undermine the careful balancing of diverse interests and uses reflected by this very important resource. In particular, Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning should be an informational tool only and should not be used to preclude economic uses of oceans, the Great Lakes and coastal areas or to block permits for such uses. 

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2.10f. Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)

A TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive and still meet water quality standards. As part of the development of TMDLs, states should assess the technical feasibility of attaining the water quality standard, as well as the economic practicability, based on the social and economic impacts of the costs of compliance. TMDL allocations should be developed for pollutants only where appropriate and other tools should be considered to achieve compliance with applicable water quality standards

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2.10g. Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET)

The WET program should be implemented in a manner that requires monitoring and limits follow up actions only when needed, based on scientifically sound criteria. WET program implementation should appropriately account for the variability inherent in WET testing.

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2.10h. Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC); Definition of Oil Clarification

Industry seeks further clarification of the term “oil” as it pertains to the SPCC regulations. While the Coast Guard has provided guidance on what constitutes “oil,” the EPA has not. Without a consistent definition or determination process, it is often difficult for industry to comply with the SPCC regulations. Some facilities might rely on the Coast Guard’s guidance, but an EPA inspector may disagree with the Coast Guard guidance and find the company to be in violation of SPCC regulations. Many facilities will be forced to make overly conservative assumptions, which drive up SPCC compliance costs.

The EPA’s overly broad interpretation of what constitutes a “water of the United States” when determining whether a facility is subject to the SPCC regulations results in uncertainty and increased costs. The NAM recommends that the EPA clarify that SPCC regulations apply only to facilities that, if oil is released, have a potential to discharge to waters that are navigable in fact or that have a relatively permanent surface connection to water that is navigable in fact.

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2.11. Groundwater Policy

Groundwater Groundwater protection strategy requires a high degree of flexibility and responsiveness to local conditions. The availability of adequate supplies of groundwater is critical for human consumption as well as industrial, agricultural and municipal uses. Multiple groundwater uses must be protected from the potentially adverse effect of municipal, industrial, agricultural and other nonpoint sources such as septic tanks, surface runoff and antiquated sewage systems.

Industrial substances, discharges and releases potentially affecting groundwater are subject to comprehensive regulation through provisions of Safe Drinking Water Act, FIFRA, RCRA and other statutes. Federal groundwater initiatives must build upon rather than ignore or duplicate this body of law. In particular, the toxicity, exposure and risk assessments required for listing and standard setting under current law should be preserved. The NAM opposes any attempt to expand the applicability of these or other environmental laws to reach activities with statutory exemptions, such as oil and gas exploration activities, including hydraulic fracturing. Any expansion of EPA authority over statutorily exempt activities must originate in Congress.

Due to the ubiquity of municipal and nonpoint sources of groundwater contamination and to the impracticality of a zero release standard in most activities, protection strategies should be based on a use classification of aquifers.

The objective of groundwater policy should be to manage this valuable resource for multiple uses. Drinking water standards are relevant criteria only when there is human consumption of the water. Treatment after extraction or conversion to alternative water supplies may be preferable to large scale groundwater restoration efforts. Natural attenuation also is a viable alternative to pumping and treating remedies. If a groundwater restoration effort already is underway, the NAM recommends that the EPA review the remedy to determine if alternate, less energy intensive options are available. 

When aquifer cleanup is selected, the principle of "the polluter pays" should prevail, whether an individual, agriculture, government or industry is responsible. State and local governments, as representatives of the public, should bear the full costs attributable to their own activities and to nonpoint source contamination.

Government should continue to encourage the development of improved technologies for recycling and/or destruction or safe treatment of hazardous wastes, and thereby help prevent groundwater contamination and avert costly cleanup efforts. Government should also undertake a program of public education on the causes of nonpoint source pollution in order to get public cooperation in reducing these sources.

Land use, transportation planning, regulation of commercial, residential and industrial development, and, in some regions, control over water withdrawal and allocation are essential elements of any nonpoint source pollution abatement program. These matters have traditionally and properly remained largely the domain of state and local governments. State governments should retain the principal control and management responsibility for groundwater.

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2.12. Air Quality Control

TheThe NAM believes that the objectives of the Clean Air Act to protect public health and welfare are desirable and supportable. The NAM believes that fostering a climate of technological innovation best achieves environmental objectives.

American industry spends billions of dollars annually toward air quality protection and is achieving significant improvements in air quality. Because of the enormity of capital expenditure and operation and maintenance costs associated with compliance with federal air quality programs, the NAM believes that federal policymakers must seek out thorough, balanced, sound and objective scientific studies before making regulatory decisions. The NAM also recognizes that manufacturers who make market-based decisions to deploy energy efficient technology also reduce emissions that may fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Air Act. The NAM recognizes that appropriate use of market-based mechanisms achieve environmental objectives more effectively than command-and-control programs.

As a general policy matter, the NAM supports streamlining air quality control regulations that are focused more on regulating manufacturing processes than on increasing environmental and energy efficiency benefits. Even when U.S. manufacturers make good faith attempts to comply with regulatory requirements, such as those included in Title V operating permits, they are often not certain that they are complying with the letter of the law and may face civil fines or penalties. U.S. industry and regulators continue to struggle with the complex requirements of the New Source Review (NSR) program. NSR often triggers evaluations that can last for several years when a particular facility attempts to upgrade or install technologies that lead to increased energy efficiency, thus potentially undermining the achievement of appropriate air quality and environmental policy goals. Such obstacles actually undercut improved air quality by delaying the installation of new energy-efficient technology. The NAM therefore supports ways to streamline and reform NSR requirements, including the development of practical routine repair, replacement and maintenance exemption provisions.

Consistent with U.S. manufacturers' demonstrated history of innovation, the NAM supports polices to encourage clean coal technology, which further reduces air emissions, and combined heat and power (CHP) systems, which promote energy efficiency while also reducing emissions. Federal policy makers should remove barriers that impede deployment of such energy efficient technologies.

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2.12a. National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)

The Clean Air Act requires federal regulators to review the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for criteria pollutants, including particulate matter and ozone, every five years. In recognition of the tremendous air quality progress made over recent decades, the NAM supports reform of the Clean Air Act to improve the NAAQS review and establishment process. The NAAQS should be reviewed and modified, if necessary, over a timeframe more consistent with 1) implementation schedules and 2) the time necessary to adequately review the large volume of material relevant to review and setting standards. Implementation guidance and rules and updates to modeling and permitting tools should be in place when the NAAQS is changed. NAAQS should be set in a transparent manner with consideration of the public health and welfare, energy and economic impacts. Furthermore, the NAM strongly supports review of the NAAQS by well qualified members of the scientific community with relevant expertise, based on sound, peer-reviewed, objective studies. The EPA should not rely on internal re-analyses of published peer-reviewed studies if the EPA’s re-analysis has not itself been individually peer reviewed and published. The NAM encourages the EPA to appoint a broad array of members to its independent advisory panels to promote rigorous and thorough study of proposed regulations based on sound science.

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2.12b. Emission Offsets and Controls Required in Non-Attainment Areas

The basic rule in non-attainment areas is that no new major sources of pollution can be constructed without obtaining a permit that imposes stringent control requirements and requires sufficient "offsets" to assure progress toward attainment of the NAAQS. Offsets are enforceable emission reductions by existing sources of pollution that exceed anticipated emissions from new sources.

When establishing offsets, it is necessary to identify those that are reasonable and available. Regulators should consider cost thresholds when establishing emission reductions. In some U.S. locations, the availability of offsets is very limited and thus the cost is tremendous. The NAM believes that air quality goals should be commensurate to the expense associated with implementation of those goals. Federal regulators must recognize the general market principle
of diminishing cost-effectiveness of new control technologies to meet more stringent requirements relative to the incremental health and environmental benefits obtained. Control costs increase exponentially to achieve minimal incremental benefits as regulators impose requirements approaching a level of "zero risk."

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2.12c. Hazardous Air Pollutants

The NAM supports regulation of hazardous air pollutants that pose a threat to public health. However, any such regulation must be based upon sound scientific data that clearly demonstrate a need to protect public health and consideration of the welfare, energy and economic impacts. The EPA's inability to meet arbitrary deadlines should not trigger automatic regulation. The NAM supports comprehensive reform of the EPA's listing and delisting process.

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2.12d. New Source Performance Standard (NSPS)

The NAM believes that NSPS should be streamlined and simplified to provide manufacturers with certainty that they are in compliance with the law. In addition, emission standards should be set using criteria that ensure optimum cost effectiveness and do not hinder economic growth and competitiveness.

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2.13. International Environmental Programs

Varying environmental quality control requirements can affect the competitiveness of a nation's industries in world markets. In order to avoid distortions in international trade, the NAM supports cooperation in international notification and consultation when a nation proposes major changes to its environmental protection programs, as well as in the development of intelligent measures to deal with dislocation or inequities in international trade brought about by differences in environmental standards. Cooperation in gathering and disseminating environmental data and information should also be encouraged.

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2.14. Environmental Justice

The NAM fully supports the non-discriminatory administration of environmental programs. Federal, state and local environmental agencies should administer and enforce all environmental statutes and regulations in a non-discriminatory manner. The NAM recognizes the importance of economic prosperity to, and its interrelationship with, health and environmental protection. The NAM encourages developing and maintaining clear lines of communication with communities that host industrial facilities. More specifically, the NAM encourages manufacturers to work with local communities, local and state governments and the EPA to achieve an open and informed dialogue on their facilities' environmental performance, in order to assure healthy and safe communities in which they operate. Additionally, we support:
• The federal goal that no person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
• State efforts to increase dialogue among government officials, local communities and facilities in order to recognize and respond to community questions and concerns about facility operations.
• State development of public participation procedures that will respond to community concerns. State environmental justice procedures should include guidance for early and meaningful public participation. The concerns of interested citizens within the community should be addressed early in the regulatory decision-making process. For example, concerns should be addressed concurrently with the technical review of a permit application, rather than being relegated only to comments on proposed decisions or subsequent, wasteful litigation. States should document the public participation process within reasonable timeframes. State procedures also should assure and document appropriate due process and reasonable timeframes for permit applicants to address public participation concerns.
• An EPA role in developing mechanisms to identify actual exposures to harmful substances using scientifically sound methodologies, including appropriate demographic information, geographic proximity and accurate risk assessment. The EPA should also assure that permitting under existing environmental statutes continues to be an agency priority.

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2.15. Facility Security

The September 11, 2001 attacks demonstrated the extent of U.S. vulnerability to terrorist threats, and forever changed the way we address the security of our manufacturing infrastructure. As a nation, we have demonstrated firm resolve in protecting our critical infrastructures and key assets from further terrorist exploitation. In this effort, government at all levels, the private sector and concerned citizens across the country are involved in important partnership and commitment to action.

The NAM members have a substantial interest and concern regarding requirements and operations of a facility site security program. The majority of the nation's critical infrastructures and key assets are owned and operated by NAM members. NAM members prudently engage in risk management planning and invest in security as a necessary component of their business operations and to assure customer confidence. In this new world of increased threat, NAM members remain the first line of defense for their own facilities. Since the events of September 11, NAM members have increased their investments in security to meet the demands of the new threat environment.

The term "security" means actions carried out to ensure or enhance the protection of a manufacturing facility, including: employee training and background checks; protection of the perimeter of the facility; protection against and prevention of access to controls of the plant; installation and operation of intrusion detection sensors; and the implementation of measures to increase computer or computer network security. The Maritime Transportation Security Act, Title IV of the Bioterrorism Act and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) authorize enforcement of vulnerability assessments and security plans for certain private facilities.
The NAM does not advocate specific public policy or legislation, but as proposals in this regard are developed, the NAM recommends that any subsequent public policy or permanent legislative authority should reflect the following principles:

• Place any federal authority at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

• Avoid chemical elimination or reduction schemes disguised as security measures. The NAM has seen legislation at both the state and federal levels that purport to be based on security concerns, yet the effect would be "toxic use reduction." The bills, prompted by misusing phrases such as "inherently safer technology” (IST), ignore the commitment to improving safety at every phase of operations. Decisions about IST involve complex process safety issues that require a holistic approach. These judgments should be made by experts in the field rather than by government mandate. Initiatives that focus on IST distract from the real issue of security.

• Recognize security work that has already been implemented by companies and their respective associations. It would be wasteful (and unfair) to require companies to add an additional governmental layer of bureaucracy onto existing industry programs, which often include requirements of other government regulations that include all the necessary components of security. Manufacturers should be deemed to be in compliance if they have implemented an industry standard that DHS determines is substantially equivalent to the requirements under any facility site security law.

• Consider provisions that would recognize work done under existing state, local and other federal regulations/laws. This would avoid disruption of the ongoing security work being completed by manufacturers under the approval of federal and state authorities. Manufacturers should be exempted if they fall under an existing federal or state security regulatory program.

• Foster continued information sharing between manufacturers and federal, state and local officials in order to enhance security. Information submitted to the government must be properly safeguarded to ensure against release to the public. Such releases of information could undermine the very security that any legislation or information sharing would seek to enable.

• Promote and recognize voluntary cooperation and agreement among all parties and encourage voluntary actions. Partnerships are currently providing the foundation for developing and implementing coordinated protection strategies.

• Ensure some limitation of liability from civil lawsuits in the event of a terrorist act. No legislation or rule should be construed to create a private right of action, or grant jurisdiction to a court, enabling private persons to enforce the law or rule against anyone subject to it. Allow only those parties that are directly subject to a rule to bring a petition for review against a rule, not just "any person."

• Acknowledge that only limited funding exists to privately finance security measures. Security investment reflects what is reasonable in light of threat and vulnerability conditions, as well as what is economically justifiable and sustainable in a competitive marketplace or in an environment of limited resources.

• Ensure that a level playing field is maintained, including preventing negative incentives for security through public funding of basic security efforts, as well as creating an environment in which a minimum standard is calibrated.

• Allow for flexibility in achieving standards established by legislation and recognize that the level of risk and the attractiveness of a target vary from facility to facility, even within the same industry. No federal program should take a one-size-fits-all approach to security and should instead recognize the variable nature of risk, allowing companies to achieve compliance in a way best suited to their particular situation.

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2.16. Recycling

Recycling continues to be an environmental, economic and societal success story led by manufacturers, many of which utilize recycled materials on a daily basis to make new products that add value to the economy. The private and public sectors have invested billions of dollars in infrastructure enabling citizens and businesses to reduce, reuse and recycle efficiently. Recycling helps numerous industries reduce their energy use, along with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Recycling conserves non-renewable natural resources and raw material supply, creates jobs, contributes to the economy and offers consumers an efficient method to reduce their environmental footprint.

The NAM supports the collection, processing and subsequent reuse of recyclable materials. The NAM supports the principles of sustainable materials management, consistent with sections 2.0 and 2.05 of the NAM Environmental Quality and Sustainability Policy. The NAM supports life cycle thinking as a key tool for manufacturers making informed decisions and understanding the impacts of products including end of life options.

No one-size-fits all approach works in recycling. Different commodities may require different approaches or solutions when looking at opportunities to initiate and/or increase recycling. The NAM supports initiatives to identify and promote best practices in capturing recyclable materials. Policies should recognize and, when appropriate, credit manufacturers for their use of renewable and recyclable materials in the manufacturing process. The NAM supports additional public education to help raise recycling rates and quality.

Market forces should guide recovery and recycling systems:

  • As with other goods and commodities, the NAM supports international free trade and open markets for recycling activities and materials.
  • Voluntary actions can and should be part of the solution.

The NAM supports policies that recognize the value of recyclable materials as economic commodities and that promote investment in recycling infrastructure.

Back to top                Adopted Winter 2012 Effective until Winter 2016