Roundup Monday, June 22, 2009

Act Now!  Comment period ends June 23, 2009!

The time for comments regarding the EPA’s finding that Greenhouse Gases from sources such as coal fired power plants and vehicle emissions ends June 23, 2009. Comments can be made through the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Center webpage, or directly to the EPA.

NRDC Action Center:

EPA Direct E-Mail     (insert: Docket ID No  EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0171 in subject line)

View my ERA e-mail at the end of this blog entry.

EPA takes comments on findings for GHG’s under the Clean Air Act

Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007): The Supreme Court found that greenhouse gases are air pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act. The EPA is at the end of an extension excluded comment period that ends June 23, 2009 regarding the EPA administrator’s proposal that found under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act:

a) The Endangerment Finding: The current and projected concentrations of the mix of six key GHG’s threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations [carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFC’s), perfluorocarbons (PFC’s), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)]

b) The Cause or Contribute Finding: combined emissions from new motor vehicles and their engines contribute to atmospheric concentrations of key GHG’s and hence to the threat of climate change. [CO2, CH4, N2O, HFC’s]

The finding would not impose any requirements on industry or other entities, nor would it automatically trigger regulation under the entire act.

See the EPA’s Information Page

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has said that this finding can lead to tougher standards on vehicle emissions and coal fired power plants, as well as a moratorium on new coal fired power plants until better technology for limiting GHG’s are in place.

See the NRDC overview of the issue

40th Anniversary of the Cuyahoga River Fire

Monday, June 22, 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the Cuyahoga River fire. The 1969 fire sparked enormous attention over the river’s pollution levels. Largely as a result, the EPA was formed and the Clean Water Act eventually became law. Forty years later, the river hosts a wide variety of pollution-sensitive fish, recreational sports like kayaking, and serves as a poster child for successful environmental concern and action-taking.
Read the story on NPR

Highlights from the July/August 2009 issue of World Watch Magazine

Portraits of Climate Change: The Rocky Mountains—Lina Barrera
The Living Earth Ethical Principles (seventh in a series): Shifting one’s perspective and
political activism
2009 Goldman Environmental Champion Prize Winners—Ben Block
Brazil’s Carbon Challenge: Land management, not fossil fuel burning, determines
Brazil’s carbon footprint
Available in pdf

My e-mail to the EPA Regarding GHG findings under the Clean Air Act
(Feel free to cut, paste and change to suit yourself)

To whom it may concern;

Regarding the EPA’s comment period for the “endangerment” and “cause or contribute” findings, I urge the EPA to move quickly to regulate greenhouse gas emissions (GHG’s). I believe the “endangerment” finding should also support quick EPA action to control emissions from new and existing coal-fired power plants, including a moratorium on the building of new coal-fired plants until the technology is in place that can substantially reduce the amount of CO2 emitted by these sources.

The best scientific evidence supports the recognition that GHG emissions widely endanger the public health as well as the environment on local, regional and global scales.

Additionally, the EPA cites the IPCC and U.S. CCSP reports as primary sources of information for its findings, enhanced by specific new research results. These reports represent, in general, the current scientific understanding of how GHG’s are contributing to an increase in the Earth’s global average temperature and the effects these gases have on other aspects of our planet’s climate and chemistry. The extensive technical support document provides the necessary details to understand the current science and to support the proposed findings.

I highly encourage you to develop and enforce regulations commensurate with these findings at the soonest possible opportunity.

Thank you for your consideration.


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