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Sunday, November 13, 2005

New York Joins California and Vermont in Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards for Vehicles

Green Car Congress reported this week that New York has become the second state to follow California's lead in restricing the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from vehicles. Vermont had previously adopted the standards under which new motor vehicles would be required to emit approximately 30% fewer GHGs by 2016 than without the regulation.

The new emissions standards were approved by the New York State Environmental Board after being proposed earlier this year by Governor Pataki. New York has adhered to the California Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) program since the early 1990s, and has continued to follow the cleaner LEV program as it has evolved.

The Federal Clean Air Act allows states to either adopt the more stringent California LEV program or adhere to Federal standards. California's revision of the LEV program to include GHG emissions standards thus forced states like Vermont and New York who had previously adhered to the program to either adopt the new standards, or fall back to the weaker Federal standards. Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut and Rhode Island also adhere to the California standards and are also faced with the same decision. They are currently considering adopting the new California standards. Washington State has also passed legislation to adopt the California standards, but the implementation of the legistlation is contingent upon Oregon adopting the standards as well. Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski has been pushing to enact the standards and has said he would bypass the legislature (who have not been receptive of his plan) and find a way for the state adminstration to enact the California standards. [As of this point, I have yet to hear anything about an actual implementation of the standards in Oregon. I suppose we ought to stay tuned, but I haven't heard any news on this since the summer]

The approval of the regulations last is the latest in the series of changes necessary for New York to maintain adherence to the California LEV program. The new regulations will take effect for the 2009 model year. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation estimates that the regulations will reduce New York State’s light and medium-duty vehicle GHG emissions by an estimated 14,855,500 CO2 equivalent tons per year in 2020 and by 26,280,000 CO2 equivalent tons per year in 2030.


  • Green Car Congress: New York State Environmental Board Approves Greenhouse Gas Standards for Vehicles

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