California asks EPA to regulate machine emissions
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California officials on Monday called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from industrial machines that they say emit as much carbon dioxide as 40 million cars.
California Attorney General Jerry Brown, along with officials from four other states, is petitioning the agency to set emissions standards for equipment in the construction, mining and agricultural industries. Earlier this month, California and other states sued the EPA to overturn a Bush administration decision that denied California's attempt to set new standards for auto emissions.
"This is a serious problem that the EPA has utterly failed to address," Brown said in an interview. "We are getting the legal machinery ready to be used either because a court orders it or a new president requires it."
The petition says the EPA has the authority and duty to adopt national emissions standards for non-road engines and vehicles. It asks the agency to adopt regulations to carry out emissions limits for such machines.
Connecticut, Oregon, New Jersey, Massachusetts and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection are joining California in the petition.
It is not the first time California has made such a filing. Last year, in two separate petitions, California and other states asked the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from both aircraft and ocean vessels.
When asked whether California would enact its own emissions standards for heavy machinery, Brown said "it would be more appropriate" for the federal government to do so.
The engines and vehicles cited in the petition emitted 220 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2007, California said -- about equivalent to the emissions from 40 million cars. There are nearly 18 million such machines in California.
(Reporting by Nichola Groom, Editing by Eric Walsh)