The U.S. EPA has reinstated California’s authority under the Clean Air Act to implement its own greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards and zero emission vehicle (ZEV) sales mandate.
This action concludes the agency’s reconsideration of 2019’s Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule Part One: One National Program Rule (SAFE-1) by finding that the actions taken under the previous administration as a part of SAFE-1 were decided in error and are now entirely rescinded.
“Today we proudly reaffirm California’s longstanding authority to lead in addressing pollution from cars and trucks,” says EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Our partnership with states to confront the climate crisis has never been more important. With today’s action, we reinstate an approach that for years has helped advance clean technologies and cut air pollution for people not just in California, but for the U.S. as a whole.”
EPA is also withdrawing the SAFE-1 interpretation of the Clean Air Act that would prohibit other states from adopting the California GHG emission standards. As a result, other states may choose to adopt and enforce California’s GHG emission standards in lieu of the federal standards, consistent with section 177 of the Clean Air Act.
For instance, Nevada recently adopted clean car standards under the leadership of Gov. Steve Sisolak, through the Clean Cars Nevada initiative. The EPA’s rule reaffirms state authority, paving the way for Nevada’s new program to go into effect for model year 2025.
It also opens the opportunity for additional programs to address heavy-duty vehicles, like buses and semi trucks.