EPA Will Begin Regulating Industrial Global Warming Pollution In March, 2010

Air PollutionAppearing at a climate summit in Los Angeles today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson will announce the administration’s plan to regulate industrial global warming pollution, with or without the support of Congress. In May, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed global warming standards for motor vehicles, applauded by the auto industry. Under the rules of the Clean Air Act, when these regulations go into effect in March 2010, all major greenhouse gas polluters — from coal-fired power plants and oil refiners to methane-emitting landfills — are automatically subject to regulation:

Under EPA’s current interpretation of PSD [Prevention of Significant Deterioration] and title V applicability requirements, promulgation of this motor vehicle rule will trigger the applicability of PSD and title V requirements for stationary sources that emit GHGs.

Today’s proposed rule — which allows public comment until December — technically is a “tailoring rule” to limit regulation of global warming pollution to emitters of 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year, instead of the automatic statutory amount of 250 tons. This 250-ton standard would cover about four million businesses and homes — the “glorious mess” President Bush used as an excuse for his inaction. The EPA plans to raise the pollution limit to 25,000 tons, so that only 14,000 industrial pollution sources nationwide would be covered by the regulations, 11,000 of which are currently covered by the Clean Air Act permitting requirements already. Each stationary source covered would be required to apply for a title V operating permit, and all new sources would require a new source review permit.

Today’s announcement by the EPA comes hours after the introduction of legislation to limit global warming pollution by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) this morning, two-and-a-half years after the U.S. Supreme Court mandated action on global warming pollution, and 17 years after the United States ratified the Rio de Janeiro climate treaty, pledging to “prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”

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