Attempt to force EPA to limit emissions from nonroad vehicles
Contact: Dan Galpern: (541) 485-2471
Danielle Fugere: (415) 544-0790 x15
Joe Mendelson: (202) 547-9359 xtn 12
Following six months of federal inaction, the Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) provided notice of its intent to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for its failure to restrict greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from nonroad vehicles and engines.
WELC petitioned for such restrictions on January 29, 2008. Today’s Notice and the earlier Petition were written on behalf of the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA), Center for Food Safety, and Friends of the Earth.
Dan Galpern, attorney for WELC and lead counsel on the Notice and Petition, stated: “It is long past time to take the gloves off. Our notice states plainly that EPA’s continuing refusal to restrict GHG emissions is ‘consigning much of our nation and this planet to an inhospitable future’.”
“Human use of fossil fuels is sending heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere at an alarming rate, threatening our health and way of life,” said Danielle Fugere, Western Region Program Director for Friends of the Earth. “The Supreme Court has held that the EPA has a legal responsibility to determine whether such emissions endanger human health and welfare, and to restrict emissions that present such danger. Today’s filing notifies EPA that if it continues to shirk its responsibility, we may be forced to sue to compel action.”
“The EPA’s continued failure to regulate sources of global warming pollution under the Clean Air Act has shifted from political indifference to extreme negligence,” said Joe Mendelson, Legal Director of ICTA and the Center for Food Safety. “Science and the law demand that the agency respond to our request without further delay.”
Today’s action is coordinated with others by states, including California, Oregon, and Connecticut. Those states are demanding action on similar petitions to regulate GHG emissions from the nonroad sector, as well as vessels and aircraft.
“Here in Oregon, we are ready to take the necessary steps to protect our planet from global warming, but the federal government continues to sidestep the issue with red tape and bureaucratic delay,” said Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers. “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 both our transportation and commercial sectors.”
WELC’s Dan Galpern noted further that EPA’s failure on this issue is nearly complete. “The Agency has refused to act on its own initiative, disallowed states to regulate GHG emissions under their own authority and, as here, failed to act on citizen petitions that are clearly provided for under the Clean Air Act. Once again, we urge EPA to follow the law.”
Friends of the Earth (foe.org) is the U.S. voice of the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 70 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has been at the forefront of high-profile efforts to create a more healthy, just world.