(CN) - EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has found that "air pollution" is the mix of six long-lived and directly-emitted greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. The mix, she found, is a danger to public health.
According to the EPA, Administrator Jackson based her finding on the body of scientific evidence gathered by the U.S. Global Climate Research Program, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the National Research Council detailing the observed and projected effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, their effect on climate, and the public health and welfare risks and impacts associated with such climate change.
The Administrator's findings are in response to the Supreme Court's decision in Massachusetts v. EPA which determined that carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and hydrofluorocarbons fit the Clean Air Act's sweeping definition of air pollutants and that the EPA could not defer to the Department of Transportation to regulate motor vehicle emissions of the chief greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.
The Supreme Court's decision required the EPA to determine if greenhouse gases endangered public health and welfare must make the finding, regardless of other executive branch policies or legislation, based on criteria contained in the Clean Air Act.
The EPA can now move forward with the Department of Transportation to develop joint-rulemaking to regulate and lower emissions from new automobiles, trucks, motorcycles and motorized vehicles.
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