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EPA Grants California Greenhouse Gas Waiver

Following the intervention of President Barack Obama signing a Presidential Memorandum requesting the Environmental Protection Agency to review the decision to deny the greenhouse gas waiver request submitted by California. The waiver will apply to California’s greenhouse gas emission standards for vehicles produced in 2009.

Under the Clean Air Act, California is given the authority to introduce and enforce stricter standards for cars and trucks than current federal law dictates. The original request was submitted in December 2005 by the California Air Resources Board but was denied in March 2006 on the basis that there was no need for California’s greenhouse gas emissions standards to meet “compelling and extraordinary conditions”.

The decision to overrule the previous decision and grant the waiver has been based on technological and scientific records and evidence, and included the opening of public hearings as part of a comment period. EPA administrator, Lisa P. Jackson said,

“This waiver is consistent with the Clean Air Act as it’s been used for the last 40 years and supports the prerogatives of the 13 states and the District of Columbia who have opted to follow California’s lead. More importantly, this decision reinforces the historic agreement on nationwide emissions standards developed by a broad coalition of industry, government and environmental stakeholders earlier this year.”

California has also made a commitment car manufacturers who comply with the national policy announced by Obama last month aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by pollution from all new vehicles and increasing fuel efficiency by saying they will comply with Californian state policy as a result. The policy would come into place affecting models manufactured from 2012-2016.


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