|June 30, 2009|
EPA Grants California GHG Waiver
|EPA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted California’s waiver request enabling the state to enforce its greenhouse gas emissions standards for new motor vehicles, beginning with the current model year. Using the law and science as its guide, EPA has taken this action to tackle air pollution and protect human health. |
"This decision puts the law and science first. After review of the scientific findings, and another comprehensive round of public engagement, I have decided this is the appropriate course under the law," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.
"This waiver is consistent with the Clean Air Act as it’s been used for the last 40 years and supports the prerogatives of the 13 states and the District of Columbia who have opted to follow California’s lead. More importantly, this decision reinforces the historic agreement on nationwide emissions standards developed by a broad coalition of industry, government and environmental stakeholders earlier this year."
As noted in a New York Times article by Felicity Barringer, The immediate impact of the decision, which had been widely anticipated, is more symbolic than practical. The 2009 fleet of new vehicles is already in compliance with the California rules and the 2010 fleet is also expected to meet the requirements, said Tom Cackette, deputy director of California’s Air Resources Board.
"Auto manufacturers have been making changes to vehicles both because they anticipated they might have to meet California standards and because there was a general interest in public in buying more efficient cars," Mr. Cackette said.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger hailed the decision noting that "After being asleep at the wheel for over two decades, the federal government has finally stepped up and granted California its nation-leading tailpipe emissions waiver." It was a sentiment echoed by other State legislators. New York Gov. David Paterson noted "The decision is living proof that there is new leadership in Washington."
See article Turning Back the Tide - Remaking the EPA
The Clean Air Act gives EPA the authority to allow California to adopt its own emission standards for new motor vehicles due to the seriousness of the state’s air pollution challenges. There is a long-standing history of EPA granting waivers to the state of California.
Full details on the EPA decison are available here.
For More Information: Environmental Protection Agency - US