From AAIA Capital Report
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted a waiver from federal preemption for the State of California to implement its Advanced Clean Car (ACC) program, which includes a package of stricter emissions standards for vehicles of all types for model years 2015 through 2025. Under Section 209(b) of the Clean Air Act, California is the only state permitted to offer different emissions standards than the federal government, but must obtain a waiver from EPA to promulgate those standards. Once a waiver is granted, other states are permitted to adopt California standards or follow EPA rules.
California’s ACC program is expected to reduce vehicle greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent beginning in 2015 and allows for the development of 1.4 million zero-emissions vehicles (battery electric, plug-in hybrid, fuel cell) in the state over the next decade. According to the California Air Resources Board, this action taken by the EPA will allow the state to continue to have the “toughest vehicle emissions standards in the nation” and permit other states to adopt identical standards if they so choose.
Specifically, the ACC program sets out to significantly reduce nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbon emissions, extend engine durability life, and, as mentioned, impose stricter general emissions standards for gasoline-powered vehicles. The state has established a greenhouse gas emissions standard of 166 grams of carbon dioxide per mile by 2025, forcing vehicle manufacturers to use off-the-shelf technologies to achieve this goal. The vehicle manufacturers supported California’s requirements, as they have with the standards crafted at the federal level, but the waiver includes a provision that designates them as compliant with the state as long as they meet the federal greenhouse gas emissions standards.
The waiver can be found on EPA’s website at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/cafr.htm.