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EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced this morning she would resign as head of the agency after the president’s State of the Union Address.
Jackson was the first federal official to declare carbon dioxide a pollutant. On Dec. 7 2009, as expectations grew for the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, Jackson signed an endangerment finding that asserted carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases pose a threat to human health when concentrated in the atmosphere.
In the endangerment finding, Jackson declares that current and projected concentrations of “the six key well-mixed greenhouse gases–carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)–in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.”
In the wake of that finding, the EPA produced a database of top polluters that included sources of those gases. In some cases local officials used that information to craft ordinances to regulate those sources on their own.
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