The California Center for Jobs & The Economy has released an updated report (earlier post) on the progress of ZEV sales in the state during the first half of 2020, drawing on sales data from the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA). For a baseline, the report uses the goal... Read more →


Nearly half—48%—of rail tank cars carrying Class 3 flammable liquids in 2019 in the US met the new safety requirements, up from 33% in 2018, according to Fleet Composition of Rail Tank Cars Carrying Flammable Liquids: 2020 Report released today by the US Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.... Read more →


California Governor orders all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California be ZEVS by 2035; medium-and heavy duty trucks by 2045

California Governor Gavin Newsom has issued an executive order requiring sales of all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035 and additional measures to eliminate harmful emissions from the transportation sector. Following the order, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) will develop regulations to mandate that 100% of in-state... Read more →


Mitsui O.S.K. Lines pays $253K to CARB for violating at-berth regulations

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has paid $253,300 in penalties to the California Air Resources Board for violating the Ocean-Going Vessel At-Berth Regulation. The rule requires container, passenger and refrigerated cargo ships to reduce emissions while docked at California’s busiest ports, including Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Hueneme, San Francisco and San... Read more →


European Parliament votes to phase out conformity factor for new car emissions under real driving conditions by Sep 2022

As of September 2022, new cars must meet EU limits on NOx emissions under real driving conditions to comply with air pollution limits, the European Parliament has voted. Data on car emissions such as NOx had been obtained through laboratory tests. The EU is the first region in the world... Read more →


EPA denying petitions for small refinery RFS exemptions for past compliance years

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is denying petitions for small refinery exemptions for past compliance years, the so-called “gap-filling” petitions for the 2011-18 compliance years. In total, the agency had received 68 retroactive exemption requests from petroleum refiners seeking to skirt obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS); the... Read more →


US reaches $1.5B settlement with Daimler AG over emissions cheating in Mercedes-Benz diesels; civil penalty of $875M

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), USDepartment of Justice (DOJ), and California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced a proposed settlement with Daimler AG and its American subsidiary Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC resolving alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and California law associated with emissions cheating. Under the proposed settlement, lodged... Read more →


CARB approves first emissions reduction plans for three Southern California communities

The California Air Resources Board has approved the first three Community Emissions Reduction Programs (CERP) within the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) under Assembly Bill 617. Residents living in the three communities are heavily impacted from high levels of air pollution sources including ports and inland warehouses traffic.... Read more →


CARB targets heavy-duty diesel vehicle noncompliance in the Imperial Valley

The California Air Resources Board settled eight diesel cases totaling more than $130,000 for violations of the Truck and Bus Regulation in the Imperial Valley. The Truck and Bus Regulation protects public health by reducing emissions of diesel particulate matter, oxides of nitrogen, and other pollutants from diesel-fueled vehicles. This... Read more →


In one of the first comprehensive assessments of the fuel economy standards in the United States, researchers from Princeton University and the University of Tennessee found that, over their 40-year history, the standards helped reduce reliance on foreign oil producers, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and saved consumers money. Transportation Statistics... Read more →


NJ boosts gasoline tax 22.5% to $0.507/gallon effective 1 October, diesel to $0.577

New Jersey’s Department of the Treasury announced on Friday that lower fuel consumption trends, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, will necessitate a gas tax increase of $0.093 per gallon in order to ensure compliance with the 2016 law that requires a steady stream of revenue to support... Read more →


The California Air Resources Board has approved a multi-pronged regulation that will significantly reduce NOx emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks. The “Heavy-Duty Low NOx Omnibus Regulation” will require manufacturers to comply with tougher emissions standards, overhaul engine testing procedures, and further extend engine warranties to ensure that emissions of NOx... Read more →


CARB approves updated “At-Berth” regulation, expanding efforts to cut pollution from ships in California ports

The California Air Resources Board approved a new regulation designed to reduce pollution further from ocean-going vessels while docked at California’s busiest ports. The rule builds on progress achieved by the At-Berth Regulation adopted in 2007. That rule has achieved an 80% reduction in harmful emissions from more than 13,000... Read more →


Daimler reaches agreements in principle to settle regulatory ($1.5B) and civil ($700M) proceedings in the US regarding diesel emissions

Daimler AG and its subsidiary Mercedes-Benz USA LLC (MBUSA) have reached an agreement in principle with US authorities to settle civil and environmental claims regarding emission control systems of approximately 250,000 diesel passenger cars and vans in the United States. The involved US authorities are the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),... Read more →


Coltura: Supreme Court precedent means states can require all new vehicles sold be electric

Recent US Supreme Court precedent has opened the door for states to enact laws requiring all new cars sold in the state to be electric as of a certain date, according to a paper by the nonprofit Coltura published in the University of Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law.... Read more →


The California Air Resources Board will consider the proposed Heavy-Duty Low NOx Omnibus Regulation on 27 August 2020. The proposed regulation is intended to ensure reductions in smog-forming NOx and protect communities most impacted by air pollution. On-road heavy-duty vehicles are an essential part of the state’s economy. These vehicles... Read more →


Specialty chemical company Clariant and Eta Bio, a company of the Pavlovi family, running a leading business in the agricultural sector in Bulgaria, have signed a license agreement for Clariant’s sunliquid cellulosic ethanol technology. The agreement marks the fourth signed license deal for Clariant’s sunliquid technology. Eta Bio has been... Read more →


EPA OIG to evaluate EPA’s actions on final light-duty fuel efficiency rule

The Office of Inspector General of the US Environmental Protection Agency plans to begin an evaluation of the EPA’s actions on the final Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule Part 2. (Earlier post.) The SAFE rule reduces the increase in stringency of CAFE and CO2 emissions to about 1.5% each... Read more →


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for airplanes used in commercial aviation and large business jets. This proposed action would align US standards with the international CO2 emissions standards adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2017, making domestically manufactured aircraft competitive... Read more →


US EPA proposes to retain existing NAAQS for ozone

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to retain, without changes, the existing, more stringent 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone. The standards, established in 2015, are currently set at 70 parts per billion (ppb), in terms of a 3-year average of the annual fourth-highest daily... Read more →


European automakers request 6-month postponement of new Euro standards due to COVID-19

Mike Manley, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and the current European Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA) president, has sent a letter to Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission, requesting a 6-month postponement of the application dates of key upcoming EU standards,... Read more →


Navistar settles air quality violations in California for $2 million

Truck manufacturer Navistar Inc. has paid $2 million to resolve allegations that it altered heavy-duty vehicle engines from their certified design, potentially causing excess diesel emissions and negatively impacting air quality. The Illinois-based company modified its vehicle calibrations from their certified design through “running changes” in the engines of its... Read more →


EPA adds 1-bromopropane to list of hazardous air pollutants; first addition since 1990

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted petitions to add 1-bromopropane (1-BP) to the list of hazardous air pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act (CAA). This is the first time since 1990 that EPA has granted a petition to add a hazardous air pollutant to the CAA. Petitioners... Read more →


The Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association (MECA) released a new report quantifying a county level MOVES emissions inventory in the continental US (CONUS) 48 states and subsequent air quality modeling report of a potential scenario should the US EPA Cleaner Trucks Initiative (CTI) be finalized as a national program at... Read more →


CARB adopts electric truck rule: Advanced Clean Trucks

The California Air Resources Board has adopted a first-in-the-world rule—the Advanced Clean Trucks(earlier post)—requiring truck manufacturers to transition from diesel trucks and vans (Class 2b to Class 8) to electric zero-emission trucks beginning in 2024. By 2045, every new truck sold in California will be zero-emission. The proposed regulation has... Read more →


Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced the “Clean Cars Nevada” initiative, which will evaluate the adoption of new regulations to provide Nevadans with more choices for low and zero emission electric passenger cars and trucks at dealerships throughout the state beginning in 2024. Also referred to as “Clean Car Standards” which... Read more →


Southwest Research Institute engineers have developed the next generation of clean diesel engine technology to reduce hazardous nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide emissions while minimizing fuel consumption. Working with regulatory agencies, vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, SwRI combined engine modifications with integrated aftertreatment technology and control strategies to reach near-zero... Read more →


American Honda Motor to pay $1.9M in penalties in California for small engine emissions violations

The California Air Resources Board has reached a settlement of $1,927,800 with American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (Honda) to resolve clean-air violations related to the sale of small off-road engines in California. The violations involved small off-road engines used in generators and lawn and garden equipment. Through extensive tests in... Read more →


York, Empa study finds retrofitting of VW diesel engines was successful

The VW diesel scandal began on 18 September 2015. On the opening day of the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Notice of Violation: VW diesel engines with 1.6 and 2.0 liters displacement (type code EA 189) contained illegal software designed to manipulate... Read more →


New data shows that motor vehicles generate more than €440 billion in taxation per year for national governments in the major EU markets plus the UK, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) reports. The taxes fall into three broad categories: vehicle acquisition (VAT, sales tax, registration tax); ownership (annual circulation... Read more →


Traffic accidents and crash-related injuries and deaths were reduced by half during the first three weeks of California’s shelter-in-place order, which began March 20. The reductions save the state an estimated $40 million per day—about $1 billion over the time period—according to an updated special report released from the Road... Read more →


German KBA approving hardware retrofits to reduce NOx emissions for passenger cars

Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) has approved various retrofit systems to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. This means that Euro 4 or Euro 5 diesel cars can be retrofitted and exempted from traffic restrictions in certain regions. In addition to new, low-emission vehicles and emission-reducing software solutions, hardware retrofits offer... Read more →


EPA proposes retaining current NAAQS for particulate matter

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to retain, without changes, the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM) including both fine particles (PM2.5) and coarse particles (PM10). The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to set NAAQS for criteria pollutants—currently PM, ground-level ozone (O3), carbon... Read more →


FTA allocating $25B to help US public transportation systems with COVID-19 reality

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a total of $25 billion in federal funding allocations to help US public transportation systems respond to shift in market reality caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding is provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed... Read more →


MECA: industry could exceed relaxed US efficiency standards as it has to meet tighter standards elsewhere

On 31 March, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the final rule for The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles for Model Years 2021-2026. The final rule requires a 1.5% year-over-year increase in fuel efficiency and reduction in GHG emissions standards, which... Read more →


EPA eases several gasoline-related regulations in response to COVID-19 pandemic

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is easing several gasoline-related regulations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. First, EPA intends to provide additional flexibility to the marketplace to transition from winter-grade, high volatility gasoline to summer-grade low vapor pressure gasoline. Due to the steep fall-off in gasoline demand as a... Read more →


DOT and EPA release revised fuel economy and GHG emission standards for MY 2021-2026 light-duty vehicles

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule setting corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) and CO2 emissions standards for model years 2021-2026 passenger cars and light trucks. These final rules follow... Read more →


On 20 March, GM announced a cooperation with Ventec Life Systems to increase production of Ventec’s multi-function ventilator VOCSN to support the growing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. (Earlier post.) One week later, on 27 March, President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA), directing the Scretary of Health and... Read more →


A new open-access study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that motor vehicle crashes involving drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) below the legal limit of 0.08% accounted for 15% of alcohol-involved crash deaths in the United States. Of these deaths, 55% of fatalities were individuals other than... Read more →


UCI-led study finds California’s strict air quality regulations have helped farmers

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions have conducted a statistical analysis of pollution exposure and yields from 1980 to 2015 on a key sector making up about 38% of the state’s total agricultural output: perennial crops such as almonds, grapes, nectarines, peaches, strawberries and walnuts. They... Read more →


Washington state legislature passes ZEV mandate; expands to medium-duty vehicles

Both houses of the Washington state legislature have passed SB 5811, the ZEV mandate bill. Governor Inslee says he will sign it. This will result in the entire West Coast—from California to British Columbia—having a ZEV mandate. Washington originally adopted the California emissions standards in 2005—but without the ZEV mandate.... Read more →


Pollution from tire wear can be 1,000 times worse than a car’s exhaust emissions, Emissions Analytics has found. Emissions Analytics is an independent global testing and data specialist for the scientific measurement of real-world emissions and fuel efficiency for passenger and commercial vehicles and non-road mobile machinery. Harmful particulate matter... Read more →


In addition to the European car market recording tepid growth in 2019, CO2 emissions have continued to increase, despite new regulation designed to curtail this, according to JATO Dynamics. Last year, the volume-weighted average CO2 emissions for European markets were at their highest recorded levels since 2014. According to data... Read more →


In the US, Model Year (MY) 2018 vehicle fuel economy was 25.1 miles per gallon, 0.8% higher than the 24.9 miles per gallon MY 2017, according to the annual Automotive Trends Report released by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In model year 2018, the average estimated real-world CO2 emission... Read more →


California’s Lower-Emission School Bus Program (LESBP) is a grant program that provides funds to purchase new buses to replace old, high-emitting public school buses, and to equip in-use diesel school buses with retrofit devices that significantly reduce toxic particulate matter emissions. The primary goal of the Lower-Emission School Bus Program... Read more →


Consumer Reports calls for major safety improvements across auto industry after NTSB findings in Tesla investigation

In light of new findings by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) related to investigation of a fatal Tesla crash in 2018 related to Tesla Autopilot, Consumer Reports called for manufacturers to include key safety features in any vehicle that has an active driving assistance system and for the National... Read more →


The National Transportation Safety Board held a public board meeting Tuesday during which it determined the probable cause for the fatal 23 March 2018, crash of a Tesla Model X in Mountain View, California. Final rest locations of the Tesla, Audi and Mazda vehicles involved in the 23 March 2018,... Read more →


[In the earlier version of this post, I mistakenly linked to and used the 2019 report rather than the current 2020 report. I apologize for the error. —Ed] The Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association (MECA) released a new report—“Technology Feasibility for Heavy-Duty Diesel Trucks in Achieving 90% Lower NOx Standards... Read more →


EC approves €300M boost in state funding in Germany for electric bus subsidies; €650M total

The European Commission (EC) last week approved an increase in state funding by €300 million (US$332 million) for the purchase of electric buses in Germany in accordance with EU state aid rules. The German aid scheme will apply until the end of 2021 and is intended to cover the additional... Read more →


CARB moves forward with third-party verification for Low Carbon Fuel Standard

California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) has supported an innovative revolution in alternative fuels. Those fuels have replaced more than 2.5 billion gallons of petroleum fuel in the past 12 months, providing Californians with cleaner alternatives. The California Air Resources Board has released a list of CARB-certified, third-party verifiers who... Read more →