EPA Issues Final Notice Setting Stage for Regulating Greenhouse Gases under Clean Air Act

The EPA today announced its final plans to move forward to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. In its final notice titled, “Reconsideration of Interpretation of Regulations that Determine Pollutants Covered by Clean Air Act Permitting Programs,” the EPA explained that the agency will implement the first national rule controlling CO2 and other greenhouse gases when the rule takes effect. According to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, the rule will not go into effect until 2011 when the proposed rule limiting greenhouse gas emissions for cars and light trucks goes into effect. The EPA expects to issue those regulations soon.

According to the EPA, the agency will soon make a decision on the amount of greenhouse gases facilities can emit before having to include limits for these types of emissions in their permits.

Today’s notice is the final step in the EPA’s reconsideration of a 2008 memorandum issued by the Bush Administration. In that interpretive memo, then EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson ruled CO2 and other greenhouse gases are not considered pollutants “subject to regulation” under the Clean Air Act,. That decision exempted greenhouse gases from “Best Available Control Technology” (BACT) requirements under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program under the Clean Air Act.

For more information on the EPA’s final notice, click here.