Thursday, May 28, 2020

Today, the South Coast Air Quality Management District filed a petition challenging the U.S. EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s rollbacks to the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule initiated by the Trump Administration. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District have joined South Coast AQMD as co-petitioners.

Spare the Air Status

“These actions will set back years of air quality progress and are not supported by the public, local agencies or the automotive industry,” said Wayne Nastri, Executive Officer of South Coast AQMD. “We must continue to fight alongside the State of California to move towards cleaner vehicles and zero-emissions technologies for mobile sources. It is essential for achieving clean air and protecting the health of the people we serve.”

The rollbacks will result in the release of additional air pollutants and GHG emissions from 2021-2026 model passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks and will weaken fuel efficiency standards established in 2012. They also disincentivize the continued production of electric, hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles by reducing the amount of compliance credit that automobile manufacturers can earn from these vehicles.

“As the world’s attention has been diverted by the COVID-19 health crisis, the Trump Administration has jeopardized the health of millions by gutting the nation’s vehicle emissions standards that are designed to protect the public’s health,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. “This provocative action is a ‘line in the sand’ for air quality regulators and will not go unchallenged. The Bay Area Air District will continue the fight to protect clean car standards and the quality of life of all Bay Area residents.”

“SAFE Rule Part 2 is a bad deal for the environment and public health, and basically only benefits the oil industry. It will weaken clean car emission standards, will increase sales of higher polluting cars, be costly for consumers and increase tailpipe pollution caused by motor vehicles. The relaxation of these standards is just the latest federal attempt to impede the progress that California has made toward a clean air and low-carbon future,” said Dr. Alberto Ayala, Executive Director and Air Pollution Control Officer of the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.

The lawsuit was filed today with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The petition adds to existing lawsuits challenging the Trump Administration’s revocation of the California waiver for GHG and zero-emission vehicle standards, which stripped the state of its ability to set its own emission requirements. 

View press releaseLanguage Icon Globe.

Last Updated: 5/28/2020