NBC News: U.S. plans new safety rules to crack down on carbon monoxide poisoning from portable generators

The announcement comes two months after an investigation detailed the deadly cost of the government’s failure to regulate portable generators.

August 21, 2015 Portable gas generators. News of Hurricane Danny becomming a Category 2 today in the Atlantic, people in South Florida start to prepare (Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg/Corbis via Getty Images) (Michele Eve Sandberg, Getty)

This article was published in partnership with ProPublica, a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power, and The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan local newsroom that informs and engages with Texans. Sign up to receive ProPublica’s biggest stories as soon as they’re published, and sign up for The Brief Weekly to get up to speed on essential coverage of Texas issues.

The U.S. agency responsible for protecting consumers announced this week that it intends to recommend new mandatory rules to make portable generators safer, saying manufacturers have not voluntarily done enough to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning deaths caused by their products.

The announcement, part of a 104-page staff report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is a key step toward regulating gas-powered generators, which can emit as much carbon monoxide as 450 cars and which kill an average of 80 people in the U.S. each year.

The commission’s move comes more than two decades after U.S. regulators identified the deadly risks posed by portable generators and two months after an NBC News, ProPublica and Texas Tribune investigation found that federal efforts to make portable generators safer have been stymied by a statutory process that empowers manufacturers to regulate themselves, resulting in limited safety upgrades and continued deaths.

Read the full article here.