Environmental groups have petitioned EPA to issue standards under the Clean Air Act (CAA) for emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and black carbon from locomotives. According to petitioners, which include the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth and International Center for Technology Assessment, EPA has projected that freight trains will release 55.4 million tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions in 2030, a 13.5 percent increase over 2007. GHG emissions from passenger trains are projected by the agency to rise from 6.6 million tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent in 2007 to 8.2 million tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent by 2030, a 24.7 percent increase.  

The petition also asserts that locomotives annually emit more than 25,000 tons of particulate matter, which includes black carbon. The petition specifically requests that EPA (i) “propose regulations setting standards for GHG emissions from locomotives under Section 213(a)(5) of the CAA,” (ii) promulgate final regulations setting such GHG standards at the earliest possible date, (iii) “propose regulations setting standards for black carbon emissions from locomotives under Section 213(a)(5) of the CAA,” and (iv) promulgate final regulations setting standards for such black carbon emissions at the earliest possible date. The petition also claims that currently available technology could control such emissions.