Environment groups expect US CO2 endangerment finding soon

14 April 2009 18:45  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--US environmental groups expect the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to declare carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases a danger to public health and welfare and thus subject to federal regulations, they said on Tuesday.

However, a spokeswoman for the EPA told ICIS news her agency had no timeline for an announcement. Moreover, she could not confirm at this time if EPA would actually make such an “endangerment finding,” she added.

The finding would subject greenhouses gases to regulation under the US Clean Air Act, leading, as a first step, to new national emission limits for new vehicles, and later also for power generation facilities and large plants, they said.

The Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, National Resources Defense Council and Environment America briefed media in a joint teleconference.

The environmental groups said the endangerment finding went back to a 2007 US Supreme Court decisionMassachusetts v. EPA - which effectively ordered EPA to issue such a finding.

While the finding would be the largest step by the US government so far in fighting climate change, it was too early to comment on the details of new emission limits or timelines for their implementation, they said.

In an interview last month with ICIS news, Mike Walls, managing director at chemical industry group American Chemistry Council (ACC) said ACC expected the EPA finding to come before the end of the second quarter.

The ruling could lead many manufacturers, including chemicals, to re-valuate the viability of their US production sites, Walls said.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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