EPA followed the law on greenhouse gas endangerment finding

September 28, 2011



Tony Kreindler, 202-445-8108, tkreinder@edf.org

Vickie Patton, 720-837-6239, vpatton@edf.org 

(Washington, DC – September 28, 2011) The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) inspector general (IG) today buttressed the agency’s efforts to address greenhouse gas pollution, affirming that EPA followed the law when it determined that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare.

The IG’s report concludes EPA “met statutory requirements for rulemaking” when it issued its endangerment finding, the scientific predicate for action to address greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. The IG’s report takes issue with EPA’s procedural classification of the technical support document under internal federal guidance.   The Office of Management and Budget, which created the internal guidance at issue, agreed with EPA’s approach under the internal government procedures (set forth in an OMB Bulletin).

“Let’s be clear on what this report does not do: it does not call into question any of the underlying science.  And the report affirmed that EPA complied with the law when making the Endangerment Finding,” said Steve Hamburg, chief scientist at Environmental Defense Fund.

The scientific foundation underlying EPA’s endangerment finding is extensive and underwent rigorous peer review.  EPA relied on assessments of climate science by the National Academy of Sciences, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the U.S. Global Change Research Program.  These assessments considered tens of thousands of peer-reviewed articles and involved thousands of scientists.  Each assessment report was peer reviewed by an independent group of experts and was subject to public comment.  

“EPA’s finding that greenhouse gas pollution endangers public health and welfare is based on volumes of rigorously peer-reviewed research reflecting an extensive and unwavering body of work from our best scientists,” Hamburg added.