California’s denied greenhouse gas waiver has ripple effect across nation

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Courtesy of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Febuary 29 denied California’s waiver request for its greenhouse gas (GHG) program for new motor vehicles (California Greenhouse — Gas Waiver Request). That decision has broad national implications which include the chemical industry.

Denial brings disappaintment
Clean Air Act ((AA) Section 209(b) ptohibits states from adopting emissions control standards for new motor vehieles or motor vehicle engines. Section 209 (b)( 1) requires that the EPA Administrator must waive the prohibition if a state determines that the standards will proteet publie health and welfate at least as well as applicable federal standards. No waiver will be granted, howevei if the protectiveness de-termination is “arbitrary and capricious,” the state doesn’t need its own standards to meet “compelling and extraordinary” conditions, or the state standards and aecompanying enforcement procedures aren’t consistent with CAA Section 202(a) (federal motor vehicle emission standards).

California submitted its request in 2005 to implement its 2002 motor vehicle emissions law, aimed at reducing GHG emissions by 25% beginning in 2009 model year automobiles and light truclcs, and by 18% in sport utility vehicles. In 2007, EPA said that it would consider the request after the Supreme Court ruled on Massachusetts y. EPA. The Court decided in April 2007 — over EPA’s ohjections — that EPA has authority to regulate GHGs from new motor vehicles.

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