From: Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Hearst Washington Bureau/SF Chronicle
Published September 1, 2009 08:12 AM

EPA to declare CO2 a dangerous pollutant

Carbon dioxide will soon be declared a dangerous pollutant - a move that could help propel slow-moving climate-change legislation on Capitol Hill, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told reporters that a formal "endangerment finding," which would trigger federal regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, probably would "happen in the next months."

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Jackson announced her timeline even as top senators said they were delaying plans to introduce legislation that would set new limits on carbon dioxide emissions. Senators had been scheduled to unveil legislation next Tuesday, but the date has now been pushed back to later in September.

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The EPA kick-started the regulatory process in April when it proposed declaring carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases as pollutants that jeopardize the public health and welfare. EPA scientists believe the greenhouse gases contribute to global warming by trapping heat in the Earth's atmosphere.

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