EPA Climate Change Regulatory Initiatives: December 2009

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These are regulatory initiatives taken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency related to climate change since July 2008.

Sept. 30, 2009: Proposed Greenhouse Gas Permitting Requirements on Large Industrial Facilities: EPA proposed a new rule establishing when Clean Air Act permits under the New Source Review and title V operating permits programs would be required for facilties emitting 25,000 tons or more of greenhouse gases a year. These facilities would be required to obtain permits and demonstrate use of best practices and technologies to minimize greenhouse gas emissions.

Sept. 30, 2009: Comment Requested on Greenhouse Gas Permitting Guidance under Reconsideration: EPA opened a public comment period on reconsideration of the Dec. 18, 2008 memorandum from then-EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson to the EPA Regional Administrators that addressed when the Prevention of Significant Deterioration permit program applies to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases

Sept. 22, 2009: Final Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule: In response to the FY 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 2764; Public Law 110–161), EPA issued the final rule requiring annual reports to EPA of emissions from suppliers of fossil fuels and industrial greenhouse gases, manufacturers of vehicles and engines outside of the light duty sector, and facilities that emit 25,000 metric tons or more of GHGs per year.

Sept. 15, 2009: EPA and NHTSA Propose National Program to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Improve Fuel Economy for Cars and Trucks: EPA and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed a new national program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve fuel economy for all new cars and trucks sold in the United States using EPA authority under the Clean Air Act and NHTSA authority under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act regarding Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards.

July 23, 2009: Waste Energy Recovery Registry: As required by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, EPA published proposed criteria for including major industrial and large commercial sources or sites in a Registry of Recoverable Waste Energy Sources.

June 30, 2009: California Greenhouse Gas Waiver Request: EPA granted a waiver of Clean Air Act preemption to California for the state’s greenhouse gas emission standards for motor vehicles beginning with the 2009 model year. This waiver had been denied by the previous administration.

April 17, 2009: Greenhouse Gas Endangerment Proposed Findings: Administrator Lisa Jackson proposed two related findings under the Clean Air Act: An Endangerment Finding that six key greenhouse gases constitute a threat to human health and welfare, and a Cause and Contribute Finding that four of these greenhouse gases are emitted from motor vehicles and contribute to atmospheric concentrations.

May 26, 2009: Renewable Fuel Standard 2: Under authority given to EPA by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the agency issued new regulations governing the federal program to ensure that gasoline sold in the United States contains a minimum volume of renewable fuel.

July 2008: Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide: EPA published proposed rule establishing the first set of federal requirements for carbon diosxide geologic sequestration wells under the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program.

July 11, 2008: Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the Clean Air Act: EPA published the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Massachusetts v. EPA laying the groundwork for future agency action concerning greenhouse gas emissions regulation.