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New Mexico adopts Clean Cars Rule

The New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) and the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board (AQCB) have each adopted the Clean Car Rule after a joint public hearing. Their independent approval of the Clean Car Rule allows California’s Advanced Clean Cars to be implemented statewide in New Mexico beginning 1 July 2022.

The coordinated package of regulations will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and ozone- and smog-causing pollutants from new passenger cars, trucks, and SUVs starting in model year 2026.

The rule includes a combination of increasingly stringent vehicle emission standards and a requirement that manufacturers deliver for sale an increasing number of zero-emission vehicles, such as battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in New Mexico. The Clean Car Rule is projected to eliminate about 130,000 tons of greenhouse gases and more than 1,700 tons of harmful ozone-forming air pollution in New Mexico by 2050.

Tripling the number of zero-tailpipe emission cars and trucks in New Mexico from 1,800 in 2021 to 5,600 by full phase-in of the rule benefits the health of all New Mexicans, especially those overburdened communities that live near heavily used roadways. The increased availability of more efficient, used electric vehicles in the future will benefit low-income purchasers, who tend to spend a larger portion of their income on fuel.

—New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) Cabinet Secretary James Kenney

Under the Clean Car Rule, New Mexico is expected to see a collective savings of $237 million by 2050 from vehicle lifetime fuel savings and lower maintenance costs.

The Clean Car Rule is part of New Mexico’s and the City of Albuquerque’s respective ozone attainment initiatives, which aim to reduce ozone in counties experiencing elevated ozone levels.

The Environmental Improvement Board regulations govern air quality throughout the non-tribal areas of the state except within Bernalillo County, which is the domain of the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board. To assure that the rule applies to the jurisdictions of both the EIB and of the AQCB and meets the identicality requirements of Section 177, the City of Albuquerque and NMED partnered on these rules.


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