Sen. Carper’s Black Carbon Plan Gets Final Congressional Approval
Carper Amendment in Interior Appropriations Bill Directs the EPA to Study Black Carbon Emissions to Improve Public Health & Reduce Global Warming
WASHINGTON – A plan to help reduce black carbon emissions, authored by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), was included in the final Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2996), which passed the Senate this evening by a vote of 60-40.
The Carper provision directs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to study the environmental impact of dangerous black carbon, and to determine the most cost-effective ways to reduce its emissions to improve public health and reduce global warming.
“Taking steps to reduce black carbon emissions is a win-win situation; we can lessen the threat of global warming and improve global public health. This black carbon study will help us find the most cost-effective approach to reduce a harmful air pollutant,” Sen. Carper said.
Black carbon emissions – sometimes called soot – are emitted when burning fossil fuels, biomass and biofuels. The greatest source of black carbon in the United States is believed to come from old, dirty diesel engines, like school buses.
These particles contribute to serious respiratory and cardiovascular problems, and can even lead to death. Black carbon is also thought to be a potent climate forcing agent, estimated to be the second largest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide.
Specifically, the Carper language directs the EPA to do a study on domestic and international black carbon emissions that includes 1) an inventory of emissions; 2) a quantification of black carbon’s global warming potential; 3) an identification of the most cost-effective approaches to reduce black carbon; and 4) and an assessment of the public health and environmental benefits from mitigating black carbon.
This black carbon study will be due to the Congress 18 months after this legislation is signed by the President.