California Greenhouse Gas Waiver
Most Recent Action
On June 30, 2009, the EPA granted a waiver of Clean Air Act preemption to California for its greenhouse gas emission standards for motor vehicles. The action taken by the EPA is in response to California’s petition to set strict automobile emission and fuel efficiency standards.
Under Section 209(b) of the Clean Air Act, California has special authority to enact stricter air-pollution standards for motor vehicles than the federal government’s standards. However, California must file a petition with the EPA and meet certain criteria.
California’s previous waiver request with the Bush Administration was denied. Soon after President Barack Obama was sworn into office, California officials petitioned the EPA requesting that it reconsider its previous decision to deny the waiver request. Just weeks after California’s renewed request, the EPA ruled that it would reconsider California’s request.
The official Notice of Decision granting California’s waiver was published on July 8, 2009 (see below). Other states may adopt California’s standards now that the waiver has been granted. Several states have adopted partial or full California standards. Legislation introduced in Wisconsin during the 2009-10 session attempted to force Wisconsin to adopt California’s standards (AB 649/SB 450). That legislation, however, was defeated.
California State Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Standards; Notice of Decision Granting a Waiver of Clean Air Act Preemption for California’s 2009 and Subsequent Model Year Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for New Motor Vehicles; Notice; 74 Fed. Reg. 32744, July 8, 2009.
Federal Register Notice: California State Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Standards; Greenhouse Gas Regulations; Reconsideration of Previous Denial of a Waiver of Preemption; 74 Fed. Reg. 7040, Feb. 12, 2009.
California State Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Standards; Notice of Decision Denying a Waiver of Clean Air Act Preemption for California's 2009 and Subsequent Model Year Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards for New Motor Vehicles; Notice; 73 Fed. Reg. 12156, March 6, 2008.