EPA To Take Carbon Regs Easy on All But Largest Polluters

by | Mar 4, 2010

carbonemissions2The Environmental Protection agency has decided to put off regulating stationary sources emitting 50,000-75,000 tons of carbon emissions a year until 2013 at the earliest, reports Business Week.

When the greenhouse gas regulations start in 2011, EPA will focus on sources of 75,000 tons of emissions a year or more, which would include large factories and power plants, but exclude hospitals and many smaller manufacturing operations, EPA chief Lisa Jackson said March 3 before a Senate panel.

Smaller sources of emissions won’t be targeted until at least 2016, Jackson said, without offering an emissions target.

During Jackson’s testimony, Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a vocal opponent of carbon regulations, accused Jackson of conflicting statements on EPA’s intentions, reports the New York Times. Murkowski said that Jackson’s previous statement that Congress should move forward with energy and climate legislation conflicted with Jackson’s other statement that the agency would go ahead with regulations.

Previously, Jackson has insisted that the rules won’t affect businesses with less than 25,000 tons of emissions a year from a stationary source.

But at least for 2011 and 2012, factories and other operations emitting 75,000 tons or fewer will be exempt from needing a permit, reports Reuters.

Last fall, EPA proposed that large emitters use the “best available” technologies to minimize GHG emissions when facilities are constructed or significantly modified.

In September, Jackson decreed that large emitters of greenhouse gases had to begin collecting emissions data Jan. 1, stating at the time that the program would apply to about 10,000 facilities that emit about 85 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gases.

Republicans and a few Democrats are hoping to block implementation of EPA’s carbon regulations of emissions under the Clean Air Act.

Also, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is asking a federal court to review the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ruling.

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