EPA Presses Case to Regulate Greenhouse Emissions
This week, the EPA is holding public hearings in Arlington, Va., and Chicago on the agency’s proposal to begin regulating global warming gases from power plants, oil refineries, factories and other major sources, under the authority of the Clean Air Act.
The current Clean Air Act regulations for such pollutants as lead, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides apply to facilities that emit 100 to 250 tons annually. That threshold is inappropriate for the six global warming gases EPA has authority to regulate (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride). Under the EPA’s proposed “tailoring” rule, facilities that emit at least 25,000 tons of greenhouse gases a year would have to obtain permits. This program would cover nearly 70 percent of the nation’s total greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources. Small farms, restaurants and other small facilities wouldn’t be affected under the new rule.
The EPA will accept written comments on the proposed rule until December 28, 2009.
— Suzanne Bopp