Issues

EPA

Carbon Pollution Standards for Cars and Light Trucks to Remain Unchanged Through 2025

Today, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy finalized her decision to maintain the current greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for model years 2022-2025 cars and light trucks. The final determination finds that a wide variety of effective technologies are available to reduce GHG emissions from cars and light trucks, and that automakers are well positioned to meet the standards through model year 2025 at lower costs than predicted.

“My decision today rests on the technical record created by over eight years of research, hundreds of published reports including an independent review by the National Academy of Sciences, hundreds of stakeholder meetings, and multiple opportunities for the public and the industry to provide input,”  said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.  “At every step in the process the analysis has shown that the greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and light trucks remain affordable and effective through 2025, and will save American drivers billions of dollars at the pump while protecting our health and the environment.” For more information, please click here.

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Volkswagen to Recall 83,000 3.0 Liter Diesel Vehicles and Fund Mitigation Projects to Settle Allegations of Cheating Emissions Tests on Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche Vehicles

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EPA Moves to Ban Certain Aerosol Degreasers

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to ban certain uses of the toxic chemical trichloroethylene (TCE) due to health risks when used as a degreaser and a spot removal agent in dry cleaning.

“For the first time in a generation, we are able to restrict chemicals already in commerce that pose risks to public health and the environment,” said Jim Jones, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “Once finalized, today’s action will help protect consumers and workers from cancer and other serious health risks when they are exposed to aerosol degreasing, and when dry cleaners use spotting agents.  I am confident that the new authority Congress has given us is exactly what we need to finally address these important issues.” See more here.

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Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Proposes Leaving Emissions Standards in Place

WASHINGTON — Based on extensive technical analysis that shows automakers are well positioned to meet greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for model years 2022-2025, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy today proposed leaving the standards in place, so the program that was established in 2012 will stay on track to nearly double fuel economy, dramatically cut carbon pollution, maintain regulatory certainty for a global industry, and save American drivers billions of dollars at the pump. See the EPA’s full release here.

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U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Asks NHTSA to Address OBD-II Port Security Risks

On September 12th, 2016, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), along with subcommittee chairmen Greg Walden (R-OR), Tim Murphy (R-PA), and Michael Burgess (R-TX), submitted a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), requesting the formation of a stakeholder group to develop a strategy to address the potential security risks posed by automotive On-Board diagnostics ports (OBD-II). OBD-II ports were first mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1994 as a means to test vehicle emissions under the Clean Air Act. Since then, the use of OBD-II ports has expanded to include repair diagnostics for both technicians and consumers.

To see the full text of the letter, click here.

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EPA and DOT Finalize Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration jointly finalized standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that would improve fuel efficiency and cut carbon pollution to reduce the impacts of climate change, while bolstering energy security and spurring manufacturing innovation.

The final phase two program promotes a new generation of cleaner, more fuel efficient trucks by encouraging the development and deployment of new and advanced cost-effective technologies. Read EPA’s full release here.

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House Passes H.R. 4775, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016

 

The legislation allows states to pursue cost-effective and practical implementation of EPA’s ozone standards.   Under the Clean Air Act’s NAAQS program, the EPA sets standards for criteria pollutants, including ground-level ozone. EPA initially established ozone standards in 1971, and subsequently revised them in 1979, 1997, and 2008. Unfortunately, EPA did not publish implementing regulations for the 2008 standards until March 2015, and states are just beginning to implement those standards. Because EPA then revised these standards in October 2015, states now face the prospect of simultaneously implementing two ozone standards.

Further, states are increasingly confronting other challenges under the statutory construct of the NAAQS implementation program. These challenges range from the agency’s failure to issue timely implementation regulations and guidance when standards are revised, to specific issues relating to foreign emissions or exceptional events, provisions in the statute that have been interpreted to require states to pursue measures that may not be technologically or economically feasible, and the current statutory requirement that EPA review all NAAQS no later than every 5 years.

For more information, click here.

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United States Files Complaint Against Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche for Alleged Clean Air Act Violations

The U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, today filed a civil complaint in federal court in Detroit, Michigan against Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC, Porsche AG, and Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (collectively referred to as Volkswagen). The complaint alleges that nearly 600,000 diesel engine vehicles had illegal defeat devices installed that impair their emission control systems and cause emissions to exceed EPA’s standards, resulting in harmful air pollution. The complaint further alleges that Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act by selling, introducing into commerce, or importing into the United States motor vehicles that are designed differently from what Volkswagen had stated in applications for certification to EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). To see the EPA’s full statement, click here.

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EPA Finalizes Increases in Renewable Fuel Levels

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced final volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program today for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016, and final volume requirements for biomass-based diesel for 2014 to 2017. This rule finalizes higher volumes of renewable fuel than the levels EPA proposed in June, boosting renewable production and providing support for robust, achievable growth of the biofuels industry. To see the EPA’s full release, click here.

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U.S. House Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee Holds Initial Hearing on Volkswagen’s Emissions Cheating Allegations

Volkswagen Group of America President and CEO Michael Horn and the Environmental Protection Agency are scheduled to testify as the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations examines Volkswagen’s alleged efforts to circumvent emissions requirements for certain models of diesel engine passenger vehicles. Members are working to understand the facts and circumstances surrounding Volkswagen’s reported Clean Air Act violations and what they mean for consumers and the general public. See more here.

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