EPA Seeks Comments on Greenhouse Gas Regulation

The implications of a decision to regulate greenhouse gases (GHGs) under the Clean Air Act are so far-reaching that a number of other federal agencies have offered critical comments. Those agencies raised serious questions during interagency review of the recent notice of proposed rulemaking from EPA, which has now published these views of other agencies and seeks comment on the full range of issues that they raise.

A notice published in the July 30 Federal Register presents information relevant to, and solicits public comment on, how to respond to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Massachusetts v. EPA. In that case, the court ruled that the Clean Air Act authorizes regulation of GHGs because they meet the definition of air pollutant under the Act.

The comments from other agencies appear in the Supplemental Information of the notice, followed by the June 17 draft of the ANPR preamble prepared by EPA, to which the comments apply. In view of the potential ramifications of a decision to regulate GHGs under the Act, the notice:

  • Reviews the various Clean Air Act provisions that may be applicable to regulate GHGs,
  • Examines the issues that regulating GHGs under those provisions may raise,
  • Provides information regarding potential regulatory approaches and technologies for reducing GHG emissions, and
  • Raises issues relevant to possible legislation and the potential for overlap between legislation and Clean Air Act regulation.

In addition, the notice describes and solicits comment on petitions EPA has received to regulate GHG emissions from ships, aircraft, and non-road vehicles such as farm and construction equipment. Finally, the notice discusses several other actions concerning stationary sources for which EPA has received comment regarding the regulation of GHG emissions. Comments must be received on or before Nov. 28, 2008.

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