EPA Approves California Clean Car Rule Waiver

Jan. 10, 2013

Jan. 10, 2013—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently approved California’s request to waive the Clean Air Act to implement several new clean-vehicle rules.

The rules include the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) limits for vehicles, strict zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) requirements and a particulate matter (PM) standard for 2025 vehicles.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) believes that nearly 40 percent of new car sales across the U.S. will be subject to the new regulations.

The EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) assistant administrator Gina McCarthy signed off on the notice to be published in the Federal Register.

The notice includes: “The Environmental Protection Agency is granting the California Air Resources Board’s request for a waiver of Clean Air Act pre-emption to enforce its Advanced Clean Car (ACC) regulations. The ACC combines the control of smog and soot causing pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions into a single coordinated package of requirements for passenger cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles (and limited requirements related to heavy-duty vehicles). The ACC program includes revisions to California’s low-emission vehicle (LEV) program as well as its zero-emission vehicle program. By today’s decision, the EPA has also determined that CARB’s amendments to the ZEV program as they affect 2017 and prior model years (MYs) are within the scope of previous waivers of pre-emption granted to California for its ZEV regulations. In the alternative, the EPA’s waiver of pre-emption for CARB’s ACC regulations includes a waiver of pre-emption for CARB’s ZEV amendments as they affect all MYs, including 2017 and prior MYs. In addition, the EPA is including CARB’s recently adopted ‘deemed to comply’ rule for GHG emissions in today’s waiver decision. This decision is issued under section 209(b) of the Clean Air Act, as amended.”

Automaker associations had urged the EPA to deny the state’s waiver request for the program or at least defer the program for model year 2021, and later required an additional review.

To view the EPA waiver, please visit ASA’s legislative website at www.TakingTheHill.com.