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Climate Change

Regulatory Initiatives

EPA is taking a common-sense approach to developing standards for greenhouse gas emissions from mobile and stationary sources under the Clean Air Act. Below are the key proposed or completed actions taken to implement Clean Air Act requirements for carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases.

Stationary Sources

Clean Power Plan

On August 3, 2015, the EPA issued the Clean Power Plan, which put the nation on track to cut harmful pollution from the power sector by 32 percent below 2005 levels, while also cutting smog-and soot-forming emissions that threaten public health by 20 percent. Learn More.

Final Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule

On May 13, 2010, EPA set greenhouse gas emissions thresholds to define when permits under the New Source Review Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V Operating Permit programs are required for new and existing industrial facilities. This final rule "tailors" the requirements of these Clean Air Act permitting programs to limit covered facilities to the nation's largest greenhouse gas emitters: power plants, refineries, and cement production facilities.

Timing of Applicability of the PSD Permitting Program to Greenhouse Gases

On December 23, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a series of rules that put the necessary regulatory framework in place to ensure that 1) industrial facilities can get Clean Air Act permits covering their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions when needed and 2) facilities emitting GHGs at levels below those established in the Tailoring Rule do not need to obtain Clean Air Act permits.

Transportation/Mobile Sources

EPA and NHTSA Standards to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Use for New Motor Vehicles

EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are taking coordinated steps to enable the production of a new generation of clean vehicles-- from the smallest cars to the largest trucks--through reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved fuel use. Together, the enacted and proposed standards are expected to save more than six billion barrels of oil through 2025 and reduce more than 3,100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Learn more about standards and regulations for controlling greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles and engines.

Renewable Fuel Standard Program

EPA is also responsible for developing and implementing regulations to ensure that transportation fuel sold in the United States contains a minimum volume of renewable fuel. By 2022, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 138 million metric tons, about the annual emissions of 27 million passenger vehicles, replacing about seven percent of expected annual diesel consumption and decreasing oil imports by $41.5 billion.

Other Related Actions

Landfill Air Pollution Standards

On August 14, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued two proposals to further reduce emissions of methane-rich gas from municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills. The proposals would require new, modified and existing landfills would begin capturing and controlling landfill gas at emission levels nearly a third lower than current requirements.

Oil and Natural Gas Air Pollution Standards

EPA has proposed a suite of commonsense requirements that together will help combat climate change, reduce air pollution that harms public health, and provide greater certainty about Clean Air Act permitting requirements for the oil and natural gas industry. The proposals are part of the agency's broad-based strategy under the President's Climate Action Plan to reduce emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane and smog-forming volatile organic compounds from this rapidly growing industry. The proposals will complement rules the agency issued in 2012 to reduce pollution from the oil and natural gas industry while helping ensure that development of these energy resources is safe and responsible.

Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide

Geologic sequestration is the process of injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) from a source, such as a coal-fired electric generating power plant, into a well thousands of feet underground and sequestering the CO2 underground indefinitely. With proper site selection and management, geologic sequestration could play a major role in reducing emissions of CO2. EPA has finalized requirements for geologic sequestration, including the development of a new class of wells, Class VI, under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act's Underground Injection Control Program. Learn more about EPA's rulemakings on geologic sequestration under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Greenhouse Gas Endangerment Findings

On December 7, 2009, Administrator Lisa Jackson signed a final action, under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act, finding that six key well-mixed greenhouse gases constitute a threat to public health and welfare, and that the combined emissions from motor vehicles cause and contribute to the climate change problem. Learn more about the Greenhouse Gas Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings.

Emissions Reporting

Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program

The Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program collects greenhouse gas data from large emission sources across a range of industry sectors, as well as suppliers of products that would emit greenhouse gases if released or combusted. Greenhouse gas data are available through the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program Data Publication Tool.

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