EPA Reports on Climate

Two reports from Environmental Protection Agency focus on six greenhouse gases that pose a potential threat and on the impact of climate changes on regional air quality.

| pril 24, 2009

Washington, D.C. –After a thorough scientific review ordered in 2007 by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a proposed finding that greenhouse gases contribute to air pollution that may endanger public health or welfare.

The agency also released a report on the potential impacts of climate change on regional U.S. air quality. The information contained in the report will enhance the United States’ ability as a nation to protect air quality and human health.

The proposed finding on greenhouse gases, which now moves to a public comment period, identified six such gases that pose a potential threat.

 “This finding confirms that greenhouse gas pollution is a serious problem now and for future generations. Fortunately, it follows President Obama’s call for a low carbon economy and strong leadership in Congress on clean energy and climate legislation,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson says. “This pollution problem has a solution – one that will create millions of green jobs and end our country’s dependence on foreign oil.”

As the proposed endangerment finding states, “In both magnitude and probability, climate change is an enormous problem. The greenhouse gases that are responsible for it endanger public health and welfare within the meaning of the Clean Air Act.”

EPA’s proposed endangerment finding is based on rigorous, peer-reviewed scientific analysis of six gases – carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride – that have been the subject of intensive analysis by scientists around the world. The science clearly shows that concentrations of these gases are at unprecedented levels as a result of human emissions, and these high levels are very likely the cause of the increase in average temperatures and other changes in our climate.

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