Environment & Sustainability
EPA finds carbon dioxide is a pollutant
April 20, 2009 By Pulp & Paper Canada
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a proposed finding that greenhouse gases contribute to air poll…
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a proposed finding that greenhouse gases contribute to air pollution that may endanger public health or welfare. This finding is the first step in regulating carbon dioxide and other pollutants linked to climate change.
The proposed finding, which now moves to a public comment period, identified six greenhouse gases that pose a potential threat.
“This finding confirms that greenhouse gas pollution is a serious problem now and for future generations. Fortunately, it follows President Obama’s call for a low carbon economy and strong leadership in Congress on clean energy and climate legislation,” says EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson.
As the proposed endangerment finding states, “In both magnitude and probability, climate change is an enormous problem. The greenhouse gases that are responsible for it endanger public health and welfare within the meaning of the Clean Air Act.”
EPA’s proposed endangerment finding is based on rigorous, peer-reviewed scientific analysis of six gases – carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride – that have been the subject of intensive analysis by scientists around the world. According to EPA, the science clearly shows that concentrations of these gases are at unprecedented levels as a result of human emissions, and these high levels are very likely the cause of the increase in average temperatures and other changes in our climate.
The proposed endangerment finding now enters the public comment period, which is the next step in the deliberative process EPA must undertake before issuing final findings. Both President Obama and Administrator Jackson have repeatedly indicated their preference for comprehensive legislation to address the greenhouse gas issue and create the framework for a clean energy economy.
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