Five states threaten to sue EPA over lack of greenhouse regulations

Chris Rizo Aug. 1, 2008, 5:00am

Hardy Myers (D)

Stephen Johnson

SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline)-Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers has joined with four other states to pressure the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to adopt regulations aimed at reducing pollution from planes, ships and off-road vehicles.

The attorneys generals or officials from California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the city of New York said in a letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson that they plan to sue under the federal Clean Air Act if the Bush administration does not set emissions-cutting measures for ocean-going vessels, aircraft and non-road vehicles.

Myers said Oregon has "repeatedly submitted" formal requests for the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from non-highway vehicles.

In a statement issued late Wednesday, the Democratic attorney general took aim at the White House for not doing more to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

"Here in Oregon, we are ready to take the necessary steps to protect our planet from global warming, but the federal government continues sidestep the issue with red tape and bureaucratic delay," Myers said.

"Yet again the Bush Administration EPA is ignoring its duty to combat pollution. If we are serious about fighting climate change we must limit emissions from our transportation and commercial sectors," he added.

In addition to Myers, the letter was signed by Democratic Attorneys General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Jerry Brown of California and Anne Milgram of New Jersey. The letter was also signed by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California.

In their intent-to-sue letter to the EPA, the officials said they will sue within 180 days if the EPA continues to "ignore its duty" to regulate greenhouse gas pollution from ships, aircraft, and other non-highway vehicles.

"As of this date, you have not responded to our petitions requesting that the EPA determine that greenhouse gas emissions from ocean-going vessels, aircraft and non-road vehicles and engines contribute to air pollution that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health and welfare and adopt regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from these sources," the 15-page letter says.

California, for instance, submitted its marine vessel petition to the EPA seeking regulations on October 3, 2007, its aircraft petition on November 4, 2007 and its non-road engine and vehicle petition on January 29, 2008, the letter said.

"The petitions asked EPA to find that greenhouse gas emissions from these sources endanger public health and welfare, and to propose and adopt regulations limiting such emissions," the letter said.

"We requested a response to our petitions within 180 days of their filing. Those 180 days have passed for all three petitions and still we have received no response from the EPA."

Brown said the off-road vehicles produce a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

"Ships, aircraft and industrial equipment burn huge quantities of fossil fuel and cause massive greenhouse gas pollution yet President Bush stalls with one bureaucratic dodge after another," Brown said.

"Because Bush's Environmental Protection Agency continues to wantonly ignore its duty to regulate pollution, California is forced to seek judicial action," he added.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at

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Organizations in this Story

City of New York
City Hall Park Path
New York, NY 10007

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20460

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