|States that have adopted the California LEV rules.|
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) last week unanimously approved the permanent rules to adopt California’s Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards, including mandated reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Eleven states have now adopted California LEV: California, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Under the federal Clean Air Act, states can opt either for federal emission standards (EPA) or adopt the emission standards developed by California. Federal law requires states that adopt California emission standards to do so identically, thereby preventing the need for manufacturers to produce a “third vehicle” to meet the new standard. However, states do have flexibility to customize implementation of the standards.
Oregon’s implementation of LEV rules will take effect with the 2009 model year—the same year greenhouse gas reductions will take effect in several other states. Oregon’s adoption of LEV rules also brings the rules to Washington, which adopted the standards contingent on Oregon adopting them.
California LEV standards have two main components. The first is the reduction of traditional criteria pollutants such as NOx and non-methane organic gases. The other is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with progressively restrictive emission limits from 2009 through 2016, at which time new vehicles must emit an average of 30% less CO2 equivalent.
The targeted results are expected to be achieved using existing technologies or alternative fuels.
Oregon’s implementation of the LEV has some of the following differences from California LEV:
Delaying the deadline for manufacturers to provide Type III ZEVs (hydrogen fuel cell vehicles) in Oregon. The delay allows DEQ and the EQC to monitor the development of a hydrogen-refueling infrastructure as one key trigger for the requirement. Other vehicles used to meet the ZEV requirements—including battery-electric vehicles, partial zero emission vehicles (PZEV) and advanced technology partial zero emission vehicles (ATPZEV)—are required in 2009 under this rulemaking as specified in the California program.
Oregon’s implementation does not require manufacturers to provide low-emission PZEVs and ATPZEVs with a 15-year or 150,000 mile warranty on all emission-related components, as do the california LEV rules. However, to ensure that Oregon does not receive less durable vehicles, it does require that PZEVs include the same quality components as those vehicles supplied to states that require the warranty.
The Oregon LEV rule incorporates NMOG fleet-average phase-in provisions adopted in Washington, which require manufacturers to meet the NMOG fleet average emission limit at the end of a three-year transitional period. During the phase-in period, manufacturers may earn emission credits in each of the three years, and may drop up to two years of emission debits. The balance of the three-year transitional period is then carried forward.