New Mexico Becomes 13th State to Adopt California GHG Limits on New Cars
28 November 2007
|Thirteen states (green) have adopted the California Clean Car Standard, including the limits on greenhouse gases from new vehicles. Six (yellow) are currently in the process of adopting the limits. Click to enlarge.|
After two days of joint hearings, the Albuquerque-Bernalillo Air Quality Control Board (AQCB) and hte New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) voted to adopt Clean Car standards to reduce air pollution and global warming emissions from new cars, trucks and SUVs beginning in Model Year 2011. This makes New Mexico the 13th state to adopt the Clean Cars program.
The program, initially started in California under special authority granted through the Clean Air Act, has already been adopted by twelve other states: Maine, California, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington and Oregon. Other states are currently in the process of adopting the standards, including Arizona, Colorado and Florida.
The Clean Cars program consists of three elements. First, the low emission vehicle (LEV II) program sets strict standards for traditional air pollutants. Under the program, volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxide would be cut by 5% and 11% respectively. Second, the green house gas emissions standards set a fleet-wide average emission standard that the major automakers need to achieve.
By 2016, new cars would emit approximately 34% less global warming gases, while light-duty trucks would produce 25% less. Implementation of this aspect of the program is pending the granting of a waiver to California and the other states adopting the California program from the EPA and also faces challenges in court.
Third, the zero emission vehicle (ZEV) program helps to drive further technological development by requiring automakers to invest in researching and producing advanced-technology vehicles.
Directed by Governor Richardson and Albuquerque Mayor Chavez, the New Mexico Environment Department and the Albuquerque Environmental Health Department drafted the Clean Cars regulations.
Twenty-three environmental, health, faith, consumer and science groups presented technical testimony in support of the regulations and more than 2,000 members of the public provided written and oral comment at the hearings in support of the program.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade association representing ten car and truck manufacturers, opposed the regulations.
The transportation sector is the second-largest source of carbon dioxide pollution in New Mexico, making up nearly one-quarter of the state’s emissions in 2000.
(A hat-tip to Bob!)
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