On April 17, 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed finding that greenhouse gases may threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations. The proposed finding identified six greenhouse gases that pose a potential threat: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride. The EPA is also proposing to find that the combined emissions of these substances from new motor vehicles contribute to the atmospheric concentrations of these greenhouse gases and, hence, to the threat of climate change. The EPA's action does not itself impose any requirements on industry or other entities. An endangerment finding under one provision of the Clean Air Act would not itself automatically trigger regulation under the entire Act.
Prior to issuing a final ruling, the EPA will accept comments on the proposed finding in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0171. Comments must be filed within 60 days from the date the proposed finding is published in the Federal Register. The EPA will also host two public hearings on the proposed finding in May 2009.
Click here for a pre-publication copy of the proposed endangerment finding.