The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted a petition for reconsideration of a Bush administration memo regarding the scope of the Clean Air Act. The interpretive memo, put forward by then-EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson in December 2008, addresses when the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program applies to carbon dioxide (CO2).
Concerns were soon raised about the memo's potential impact on American communities and neighborhoods. The Sierra Club and other parties in early January petitioned EPA to reconsider the Johnson memorandum.
‘Not only does today's decision signal a good start for our clean energy future, it also signals a return to policy based on sound science and the rule of law – not deep pocketbooks or politics,’ says David Bookbinder, chief climate counsel for the Sierra Club.
EPA will vigorously review the Johnson memo to ensure that it is consistent with the Obama administration's climate change strategy and interpretation of the Clean Air Act. While conducting this review, EPA will abide by the three core principles outlined by Administrator Lisa Jackson: overwhelming transparency, adherence to the rule of law, and science-based policies and regulations.
To facilitate a transparent, impartial and fair review, EPA will seek comment from the general public on this memo and its potential impact on American communities. This public comment period is consistent with the recommendations of the Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) and allows for a measured, inclusive approach to reviewing this memo. The EAB last year held that EPA had not adequately articulated why its interpretation of the PSD program did not apply to CO2.
SOURCE: Environmental Protection Agency