Corporations Push Back on Tighter Environmental Regulations

The battle for cleaner air is intensifying, with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposing tighter regulations on air pollution to protect public health and save tens of thousands of lives each year. However, not everyone is rejoicing at the prospect of improved air quality. Corporate America, led by industry titans and trade associations, is pushing back against these proposed changes, citing concerns about economic repercussions and feasibility. In this article, we explore the implications of the EPA’s proposal and the arguments presented by those who stand against it.

The Lethal Threat of Particulate Matter:

At the heart of the EPA’s proposal lies the reduction of annual exposure limits for particulate matter, particularly PM2.5 (particles of 2.5 micrometers in diameter). These tiny particles, including soot, are among the deadliest air pollutants, capable of infiltrating lung tissue and entering the bloodstream. Long-term exposure to particulate matter has been linked to heart attacks, asthma attacks, and premature death, disproportionately affecting communities of color.

The Current and Proposed Standards:

The current standard of 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air, established in 2012 during the Obama administration, has drawn criticism from scientists and public health experts worldwide, including the World Health Organization. The EPA’s proposed changes could bring the standards down to a range of 11 to 8 micrograms per cubic meter, still higher than the WHO’s recommended annual limit of five micrograms. A review during the Trump administration estimated that lowering the annual particulate matter standard to nine micrograms per cubic meter could save thousands of lives annually.

Industry’s Resistance:

Corporate America, represented by trade associations and industry leaders, has raised concerns over the proposed regulations. Chad Whiteman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute expressed apprehension that the new regulations could stifle manufacturing and industrial investments, hampering economic growth. Mike Ireland, president and CEO of the Portland Cement Association, suggested that the new standards would be impractical and economically unfeasible for the industry to meet.

Furthermore, the American Petroleum Institute’s Vice President, Will Hupman, defended the current standards, arguing that they are effective in improving air quality while protecting public health. He contended that there is insufficient scientific evidence to warrant more stringent regulations, which could burden state and local governments, businesses, and the public.

The Fight for Cleaner Skies:

Despite pushback from industry players, environmental and public health advocates argue that the proposed updates do not go far enough. They contend that the higher range of limits is unacceptable, emphasizing the need for a more aggressive approach to tackle air pollution and protect human lives.


As the EPA’s proposal for tighter air pollution regulations moves forward, it has encountered resistance from the corporate world. While industry leaders voice concerns about economic impacts, public health experts and environmental advocates are calling for more decisive action to combat the deadly effects of particulate matter on communities. The battle for cleaner air is a critical one, and it’s crucial that we strike a balance between safeguarding human health and fostering sustainable industrial growth. Let us not forget that human life is invaluable, and the responsibility falls on all stakeholders to find solutions that preserve both public health and economic prosperity. By working together, we can create a healthier, cleaner future for generations to come.

If you or a loved one have been affected by corporate negligence, contact OnderLaw today for your free, no-obligation consultation.