EPA Nears ‘Endangerment Finding’ on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

by | Apr 15, 2009

carbonic-emissions2Environmental observers report that the White House Office of Management and Budget has approved the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s finding that greenhouse gas emissions threaten the public. They also say that the EPA could officially announce an “endangerment finding” this week or on Earth Day.

Once official, the endangerment finding will enable the EPA to write regulations under the Clean Air Act that limit emissions, reported OMB Watch.

This finding will trigger the EPA to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions under the 1970 Clean Air Act — independent of any broader climate-change measures, according to a Wall Street Journal online article.

The EPA’s proposal to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act could lead to emissions caps for all types of businesses.  By concluding that greenhouse gases are pollutants that could endanger human health and welfare, the EPA is overriding a Bush-era decision to allow public comment on the threat of global warming-related pollution.

The New York Times reported that the EPA’s proposed endangerment finding cleared the White House review process, paving the way for an official announcement.  According to an internal EPA document obtained by Greenwire, the EPA will not propose immediate regulations targeted at controlling heat-trapping gases from cars, power plants and major sources of greenhouse gas sources.

There is debate between industry groups that say the endangerment finding will trigger costly regulations, and agency lawyers and environmental groups that say the new rules will be carefully coordinated, according to the New York Times.

The WallStreet Journal online reported that EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is expected to declare sometime in April that carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles endanger health and welfare because of their impact on the climate.

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