States Petition EPA to Control Climate Gases from Nonroad Engines

SACRAMENTO, California, January 28, 2008 (ENS) – California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. will host a news conference Tuesday announcing a petition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asking the agency to adopt greenhouse gas emissions standards for nonroad vehicles, engines and equipment.

Other states, government agencies, and national environmental organizations that are joining California in petitioning the EPA include Connecticut, Oregon, New Jersey, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the International Center for Technology Assessment, Center for Food Safety and Friends of the Earth.

“Millions of industrial machines in mines, on farms, and construction sites spew massive quantities of unregulated greenhouse gas pollution,” Attorney General Brown said. “The Environmental Protection Agency has not regulated the emissions from these vehicles and engines – just like it has failed to curb greenhouse gases from cars, ocean-going vessels, and aircraft.”

Among the wide range of nonroad vehicles and engine that the EPA is authorized to regulate are construction and farm machinery, logging equipment, outdoor power equipment, recreational vehicles, lawn and garden equipment, marine vessels, aircraft, and locomotives.

Heavy machinery emits
greenhouse gases. (Photo courtesy
Ethan Casaday)

Attorney General Brown recently filed separate petitions to the EPA calling for aircraft and ocean-going vessel regulations.

Locomotives are excluded from the latest petition because regulating train emissions involves different technological and legal issues.

The nonroad engines and vehicles cited in the petition emitted 220 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2007 – an amount equivalent to the emissions from 40 million cars, Brown says.

Mining and construction equipment accounted for 32 percent of these emissions, followed by agricultural and industrial equipment. According to the California Air Resources Board, there are approximately 17.8 million of these machines and engines in California.

EPA data shows that the emissions from snowmobiles, golf carts, riding lawn mowers, agricultural equipment and off-road vehicles are growing at a faster rate – 49 percent between 1990 and 2005 – than greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles or aircraft. These vehicles emit more greenhouse gases than all domestic aircraft.

In tomorrow’s petition, California will assert that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has the authority and the duty to adopt national greenhouse gas emissions standards for the entire sector of nonroad engines and vehicles.

California and the other states and groups are petitioning the EPA to:

* Make a determination that greenhouse gas emissions from nonroad sources contribute to air pollution that may endanger public health and welfare

* Adopt greenhouse gas emissions standards, under Section 213 of the Clean Air Act, for new nonroad vehicles and engines

* Adopt the regulations that are necessary to carry out these emissions limits.

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