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Montana May Adopt California Vehicle GHG Emission Standards

A bill currently under consideration in the Montana State Senate (SB 180) would establish greenhouse gases as regulated air pollutants under the Clean Air Act of Montana and adopt the California vehicle GHG emission standards (Pavley).

President Barack Obama last week ordered the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review the EPA’s earlier denial of the waiver to California to implement its greenhouse gas reduction standards for vehicles sold in the state. Granting of the waiver would clear the way for California and the other states adopting the California standards to begin implementing the regulation. (Earlier post.)

In a hearing before the state Senate’s Natural Resources Committee on Friday, representatives of Governor Brian Schweitzer’s office testified in support of the measure.

Initiation of the vehicle emissions regulatory program, including the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, would be accomplished through incorporating California vehicle emissions standards by reference and would therefore require very little rule development and related activities in FY 2010 and FY 2011 for Montana.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) would be required to ensure vehicles comply with the standards. Implementation of the vehicle emissions regulatory program would be accomplished through existing compliance staff evaluation of new car sales to ensure compliance with standards.

Regulating greenhouse gases from vehicles in Montana would extend to other sources, including, but not limited to, industrial, and commercial sources. The DEQ anticipates that up to 2,000 new sources would be subject to regulation through implementation of SB 180.


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