If passed and signed into law, the bill will require Maryland to adopt the Lower Emission Vehicle-II (LEV-II) standards set by California and followed by seven other states. The federal Clean Air Act allows states to choose between these and the lower federal standards. To date, New Jersey, New York, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut have opted for the LEV-II progam.
The LEV-II program essentially requires:
Standards for fleet average emissions for each automakers’ cars that are slightly stricter than federal standards, and
Specified percentages of each automaker’s new cars sold be zero-emission vehicles and hybrids.
If the Maryland bill is passed, automakers would need to meet these standards fully in Maryland by model year 2009.
In Maryland, the Cleaner Cars Act would require automakers to sell approximately 89,000 hybrids and 477,000 low and zero emission vehicles in Maryland between 2007 and 2010, with the numbers increasing over time.
According to recent tracking poll, 79% of Marylanders favor the act, with 53% strongly favoring it.