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Clean Air Act: California Waiver

Clean Air Act Section 209/177

New Attacks on State Authority

History of Attacks on State Authority

National Academies Report and Related Activities

Other Support for State Authority

Clean Air Act & State Authority

Because motor vehicles add to an already intolerable burden of dirty air in California and other states, the Clean Air Act permits California to set its own motor vehicle emission standards — as long as they are at least as tough as federal standards. Before implementing its own standards, however, California must first be granted a "waiver" from U.S. EPA.

Other states can adopt the California standards if the states can show they are necessary and more cost effective than alternative cleanup strategies.

Clean Air Act: California Waiver

Over the last four decades, the U.S. EPA has approved more than 50 Clean Air Act waivers for California to implement more stringent vehicle emissions rules.

August 31, 2012 – U.S. EPA has scheduled a public hearing September 19 in Washington D.C. on California’s waiver request for the 2017–2025 Clean Cars Program. California is seeking a waiver for its Low Emission Vehicle (LEV III) program, which includes more stringent criteria (smog) pollution standards and greenhouse gas emission standards that are harmonized with the federal standards adopted for the same 2017–2025 timeframe. The state also is seeking a waiver for its Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulation.
Read the Federal Register notice.
Learn more about California’s 2017–2025 regulations, which were finalized in 2012, from the California Clean Cars Campaign.

June 30, 2009 – Three years, six months, and nine days after California first requested a waiver of the Clean Air Act to implement its Clean Cars Law for 2012–2016, the U.S. EPA finally granted the waiver. California first requested the waiver in December 2005. Two years later, in December 2007, the Bush EPA denied the waiver request. In February 2009, the Obama EPA announced it would review the previous administration’s denial. Access news releases, statements and testimony in our newsroom.

Three years, six months, and nine days after California first requested a waiver of the Clean Air Act to implement its Clean Cars Law, the U.S. EPA finally granted the waiver on June 30, 2009.

Key milestones in California’s long quest for a waiver for its 2012–2016 vehicle regulations are listed below.

March 4, 2009 – On the eve of U.S. EPA’s hearing to reconsider California’s Clean Cars Waiver request, consumer and environmental advocates answered reporters’ questions in a teleconference call. Materials distributed include:

  • Union of Concerned Scientists updated its “Vanguard” report highlighting existing technologies automakers can use to meet the Clean Cars standard
    fact sheet
    more information from UCS
  • Slide discussed by Adam Lee, president, Lee Auto Malls (third generation auto dealer and manager of twelve locations across Maine, selling both domestic and foreign nameplates) demonstrating drop in 2008 net revenue by vehicle market segment

February 12, 2009 – EPA's notice that it will re-open its review of California›s Clean Cars waiver request is officially posted in the Federal Register. The comment period closes April 6, 2009.
Federal Register notice

February 6, 2009 – US EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson signs Federal Register Notice announcing March 5 public hearing and 60-day comment period on California's request for reconsideration of previous waiver denial.
EPA Notice for Public Hearing and Comment
EPA – California waiver web page

January 26, 2009 – President Obama instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider the Bush administration's denial of a request by California and 13 other states to implement global warming pollution standards for cars and trucks. The president also directed the Department of Transportation to set fuel economy standards for 2011 and reconsider the methodology for standards in the years that follow.
Presidential memorandum to EPA
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's statement
NRDC Statement
Statements from:
   Environmental Defense Fund
   Union of Concerned Scientists
   Sierra Club
   Environment California
Statement from Pew Environment Group
Statement from Conservation Law Foundation

January 21, 2009 – One day after President Barack Obama's historic inauguration, California again asks for a waiver to implement the Clean Cars Law.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's letter to President Barack Obama.
California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols' letter to EPA Administrator-designate Lisa Jackson seeking reconsideration of the previous waiver denial.
California Sen. Fran Pavley, author of Clean Cars Law, asks President Obama for the waiver.

December 9, 2008EPA inspector general report determines EPA's California waiver decision met statutory procedural requirements.

July 29, 2008 – Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and committee members Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) called for the resignation of EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson.
Press Release

June 20, 2008 – House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman delays a contempt hearing involving the EPA and White House after the White House claims executive privilege.
EPA Letter to Waxman claiming executive privilege
Waxman Response to White House executive privilege claim

June 19, 2008 House Oversight Committee memo outlines case for White House meddling in EPA waiver denial.

June 13, 2008 – House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman schedules a hearing June 20 on whether to hold the EPA and White house in contempt for their repeated refusal to provide subpoenaed documents on the White House role in EPA's rejection of California's waiver request.
Letter to EPA's Stephen Johnson
Letter to the White House's Susan Dudley

May 21, 2008 – The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passes Sen. Barbara Boxer’s S. 2555 to overturn EPA’s waiver decision against California and 12 other states.
Environmental group sign-on letter in support of S. 2555
ARB Chairman Mary Nichols response
Environment America response

May 19, 2008House Oversight and Government Reform Committee investigation concludes that the White House tampered with the U.S. EPA’s decision, leading EPA to reject California’s request for a waiver to implement its clean cars law.

April 9, 2008Rep. Waxman issues another subpoena for un-redacted EPA documents on California’s waiver request.

March 14, 2008House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman issues subpoena for unredacted copies of EPA documents used in California waiver denial decision.

March 10, 2008 – In a letter to EPA Administrator Johnson, House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman requests documents that have been improperly withheld from the Committee regarding EPA’s waiver denial decision.

March 6, 2008Federal Register notice of EPA's denial of California's Clean Cars waiver.

March 6, 2008 – U.S. Reps. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) introduce the Right to Clean Vehicles Act that directs U.S. EPA to grant California’s clean cars waiver.

March 3, 2008 – Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) questions integrity of U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson.
Read the news release
Read the letter

February 26, 2008U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer releases internal EPA documents showing EPA staff warned administrator Johnson that he might have to resign if he denied California’s waiver request.

February 25, 2008 – CARB issues the final report comparing emissions reduction benefits of Clean Cars law with CAFE.

February 11, 2008 – Fourteen environmental groups sign a letter sent to Senators in states that have adopted or are considering adoption of the Clean Cars standards, urging them to co-sponsor S. 2555, Senator Boxer’s bill to permit California and other states to implement their standards.

February 8, 2008 – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman issued a subpoena to compel the EPA to provide un-redacted copies of a key presentation EPA staff made to Administrator Johnson in October 2007 about California’s regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles.

February 4, 2008Florida joins states’ lawsuit against U.S. EPA

February 1, 2008Iowa joins states’ lawsuit against U.S. EPA

January 24, 2008 – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer introduces legislation that would direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to grant California a waiver under the Clean Air Act to cut global warming pollution from motor vehicles.
Read the bill
View bill status (enter S. 2555 in the search window)

January 24, 2008 – Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joins 13 other governors in sending a letter to U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson regarding the recent U.S. EPA waiver denial.
Read the letter

January 24, 2008 – Calif. Air Resources Board releases addendum to previous analysis of California Clean Cars regulation vs. CAFE standards adopted by Congress in December. It provides additional quantification of the GHG emission reduction benefits assuming all fifty states were to adopt California emissions standards.
Read the Addendum

January 23, 2008 – On the day before U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson was to testify before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Sen. Barbara Boxer, chair of the EPW Committee, released excerpts from the uncensored EPA briefing documents shown to the EPW Committee staff.
Read the statement from Senator Boxer

January 14, 2008 – Rep. Henry Waxman, Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, will depose EPA staff.
Letter to EPA Director Stephen Johnson

January 10, 2008Minnesota joins states’ lawsuit against U.S. EPA

January 10, 2008 – U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, chair of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee, holds a field briefing in Los Angeles to set the record straight about the California waiver denial.

Sen. Boxer excoriated U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson for not showing up at the briefing to explain why he refused California's request to take strong steps to combat global warming. An empty chair at the briefing symbolized the absence of any representative of the EPA, and an empty box marked "EPA Documents" symbolized that he has failed to submit any of the documents that have been requested by the Environment and Public Works Committee relating to his decision.
Testimony of U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer
California Attorney General Jerry Brown’s news release
Testimony of Calif. Attorney General Jerry Brown
Testimony of Calif. Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols
Testimony of Former Assembly Member Fran Pavley, author of the California Clean Cars law
Testimony of Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope
Sierra Club news release
Chart: Comparison of Nationwide Total Greenhouse Gas Reductions by 2020 (CARB)
Chart: Total Greenhouse Gas Reductions by 2020; 50-state scenario, tailpipe emissions (CARB)

January 2, 2008 – In separate petitions, California and 15 states – plus five environmental organizations – ask a federal court to reverse the December 19, 2007 U.S. EPA decision denying California a waiver to implement its Clean Cars law. The petitions were filed in the 9th Circuit of Appeals.
Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger release
Calif. Attorney General Jerry Brown release
Petition from California and 15 states
Motion to Intervene from 15 states
Conservation Law Foundation release
Environmental Defense release
NRDC release
Environment Illinois release
State of Vermont release
State of New Mexico release
State of Maine release
Sierra Club release

January 2, 2008 – A California technical analysis documents how the state’s Clean Cars Law would be more effective at reducing greenhouse gases than the proposed CAFÉ standards signed into law in late 2007.

December 20, 2007 – California Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata says California can force reductions in automobile greenhouse gas emissions even without federal approval.

December 20, 2007 – Gov. Schwarzenegger announces intent to appeal EPA waiver denial.

December 20, 2007 – House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman initiates investigation into U.S. EPA its decision to deny California’s clean cars waiver.
Read the request

December 19, 2007 – Bush administration denies California clean cars waiver request.
EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson’s letter to Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
EPA news release: EPA denies California clean cars waiver
Read Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s response
Read Calif. Attorney General Jerry Brown’s response
Read U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s response
Read National Association of Clean Air Agencies response
Read NRDC response
Read Union of Concerned Scientists response
Read the Environment America response
Read the NESCAUM response
Read Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell response
Read New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson’s response
Read Maine Gov. John Baldacci’s response
Read Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell’s response
Read New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s response

November 9, 2007 – California and sixteen states petition Congress to "back California’s fight against global warming," and protect the state’s motor vehicle greenhouse gas emissions law from federal preemption.
Read Attorney General Jerry Brown’s Press Release
Read the letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Read the comparison of Calif. GHG standards and the Senate CAFE Targets

November 8, 2007 – In a precedent setting lawsuit, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. sued the U.S. EPA, to force action on the state’s waiver request. The lawsuit, filed today in Washington D.C. , charges the EPA with an unreasonable delay in reaching a decision on California’s request for a waiver to implement its clean cars law.

Fourteen other states – Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington – joined California’s lawsuit.
Read the Governor’s Press release and view video
Read the Attorney General’s Press release
Read the Complaint
Read the Statement from Former US EPA Administrator William K. Reilly
Read the statement from NRDC’s David Doniger
Read the Environment California release
Read the National Environmental Trust statement
Read the Union of Concerned Scientists release

September 27, 2007 – The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) urges U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson to act quickly on California’s waiver request.
Read the NCSL letter
Read the NCSL official action policy

September 24, 2007 – Congressman Henry Waxman’s House Oversight Committee investigation reveals the White House approved a U.S. DOT lobbying effort to block approval of California’s Clean Cars waiver.
Waxman’s letter to the White House
Internal e-mails documenting DOT actions

September 20, 2007 – 89 Members of Congress join Rep. Peter Welch urging EPA to promptly grant California’s auto emissions waiver.

September 1, 2007 – A Congressional Research Service report updated in August and leaked to the San Jose Mercury News indicates that California has a good case for its waiver request to EPA.

July 31, 2007 – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved Sen. Barbara Boxer’s bill, S. 1785, which sets a September 30 deadline for U.S. EPA to respond to California’s clean cars waiver request. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson has testified that the agency will respond by the end of the year.

July 26, 2007 – U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson testifies before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. He defends his agency’s progress in considering California’s waiver request.

July 26, 2007 – Sen. James Inhofe blasts Sen. Barbara Boxer for holding a hearing on California’s waiver request.

July 18, 2007 – Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) introduces legislation forcing U.S. EPA to act on California’s waiver request by September 30.

July 12, 2007 – Sen. Barbara Boxer introduces legislation to speed California’s waiver request and sets a July 26 hearing date in her Committee on Environment and Public Works.

June 29, 2007 – U.S. DOT releases 70 pages of internal documents showing the agency lobbied on behalf of automakers against California’s waiver request. Coverage from the Los Angeles Daily News, July 3.

June 21, 2007 – U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, in a letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, pledges to respond to California's waiver request by the end of the year.

June 14, 2007 – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and five western governors urge Congressional leaders to collaborate on strong, smart and comprehensive federal climate change policy. For starters, they ask Congress to demand that the U.S. EPA issue California’s long-requested waiver to implement its Clean Cars Law.

June 13, 2007 – In a letter to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson defends his recent testimony to Congress and says next week he will determine his agency’s timeframe for responding to the state’s waiver request.

June 13, 2007 – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reiterates an earlier threat to sue the federal government for failing to act on California’s waiver request. A new letter says California will sue six months and one day after the required notice was originally sent on April 26, 2007.

June 13, 2007 – U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman responds to U.S. DOT Secretary Mary Peters, reiterating his intent to investigate DOT’s apparent lobbying to oppose California’s request for an EPA waiver to implement its Clean Cars Law.

June 12, 2007Government Employee Lobbies Congress to oppose California’s waiver request? In a letter to the U.S. Transportation Secretary, Rep. Henry Waxman asks for documents and an interview with a DOT employee who apparently lobbied members of Congress to oppose California’s waiver request. U.S. DOT acting general counsel Rosalind Knapp defends agency staff’s actions in this letter response.

June 12, 2007 – Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, urges U.S. EPA to grant California’s waiver request.

June 8, 2007 – U.S. EPA denies requests from industry lobbyists to extend the comment period on California’s waiver request.

June 1, 2007 – Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri and Vermont Gov. James Douglas urge U.S. EPA to grant California’s waiver request.

May 30, 2007 – Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald also submitted testimony.

May 21, 2007 – Washington, DC—Tailpipe standards already in place in 12 states would reduce global warming emissions by nearly 400 million metric tons by 2020 – a reduction equivalent to taking 74 million of today’s cars off the road for an entire year, according to a new U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) report. The report comes as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prepares to hold public hearings May 22 in Arlington, Virginia and May 30 in Sacramento, Calif. on whether to give states the green light to reduce global warming pollution from cars and SUVs.

May 10, 2007 – EPA Announces a second public hearing on California’s waiver request, in Sacramento, May 30.

Other states that have adopted California’s Clean Car standards are rallying to support the state’s waiver request. Read letters from the following states:

April 25, 2007 – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger warns U.S. EPA that the state will sue if the federal agency fails to act within 6 months on California’s long-delayed request for a waiver to implement its clean cars law.
Governor’s news release and letter to EPA

April 24, 2007 – U.S. EPA has finally opened the public comment period for California’s request for a waiver under the Clean Air Act to implement its Clean Cars law. California first requested the waiver in December 2005; U.S. EPA has been sitting on the state’s request for an outrageous 15 months. Prodded by the U.S. Supreme Court’s early April decision that carbon dioxide is a pollutant under the Clean Air Act, EPA has launched the formal public comment process and set a May 22 hearing date. The comment period is open through June 15.
Read the Greenwire story

October 26, 2006 – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger writes President Bush to push EPA to act on the state's waiver request.
Read the letter

April 10, 2006 – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asks President Bush for assistance in obtaining waiver from U.S. EPA.
Read the letter

December 21, 2005 – California Air Resources Board requests a waiver from U.S. EPA.
Read the letter

Clean Air Act Section 209/177

Section 209 of the Clean Air Act specifically creates the right for California to set better-than-federal emission standards for most moving sources of pollution.

Section 177 of the Clean Air Act permits other states to adopt California motor vehicle standards as long as "such standards are identical to the California standards for which a waiver has been granted for such model year."

New Attacks on State Authority

April 7, 2011 – While Congress considers measures to strip EPA's authority to regulate GHGs under the Clean Air Act, defenders are stepping up.
President Obama says he will veto H.R. 910 (Upton)
Governors of 12 states write Congressional leaders in defense of the Clean Air Act
U.S. Senate passes a resolution supporting the Clean Air Act
United Auto Workers Union opposes H.R. 910

February 8, 2011 – Michigan Congressman Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, touched off a battle early in 2011 after introducing legislation to strip EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gases. See testimony at a recent house hearing on the subject
Testimony of ARB Executive Officer James Goldstene
Testimony of US EPA administrator Lisa Jackson
Letter from NESCAUM defending EPA authority

January 2010 – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski proposes a resolution to overturn U.S. EPA's Endangerment Finding and prevent EPA from using its authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate GHG emissions.
Track the battle.

July 18, 2008 – A House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming investigation finds oil industry interference in government decisions on global warming regulations. The investigation notes that high-level officials, including key White House officials, had decided to use the Clean Air Act to regulate global warming emissions from vehicles, and stationary sources – but reversed their decision in the face of strong opposition from ExxonMobil and others within the oil industry, as well as from at least one senior adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.
Read the committee news release
Read the Committee report
Read transcript of Jason Burnett interview

April 28, 2008 – Two industry-friendly climate change plans being floated in Congress would strip states of authority to set their own GHG emissions standards. Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) is sponsor of one plan. The coal industry sponsors the other. They each contain similar language seeking to eliminate state and regional global warming laws, and both would overturn the Supreme Court’s Massachusetts v. EPA decision. Both plans are meant to be alternatives to Lieberman-Warner, which is expected to come up for floor debate in June.

April 25, 2008Maine Gov. John Baldacci sends letters to Congress and President Bush opposing NHTSA’s proposal to pre-empt state authority.

April 23, 2008 – California and eleven states respond to NHTSA’s “…cynical attempt to…unilaterally rewrite the Clean Air Act and claim authority over greenhouse gas emissions.”
Letter to President Bush
Letter to Congressional Leaders
Calif. Attorney General Jerry Brown’s response
Sen. Dianne Feinstein response
Rep. Nancy Pelosi response

April 22, 2008 – NHTSA releases its proposed fuel economy rule in response to the 2007 Energy Bill. Buried in the fine print is an attempt to preempt state authority on greenhouse gas regulations. NHTSA is, essentially, challenging the U.S. Supreme Court.
Read the relevant text excerpts

Summer 2007 – A new bill in the CAFE debate in Washington is being pitched as a moderate alternative, but contains language that would undermine California’s Clean Cars law and prohibit other states from adopting the standard. Reps. Baron Hill (D-Indiana) and Lee Terry (R-Nebraska), the sponsors of H.R. 2927, deny that their bill has this intent but refuse to take amendments that would address the problem.
Learn more.

  • August 1, 2007 – The proposed “Hill-Terry” fuel efficiency amendments to the energy bill were withdrawn today, removing the threat to California’s Clean Cars law and the right of other states to adopt vehicle global warming pollution standards. The action followed a letter from California Attorney General Jerry Brown, attorneys general from 12 other states, and the corporation counsel of New York City.

  • July 26, 2007 – Pennsylvania legislative delegation letter to that state’s Congressional delegation urges their opposition to Hill-Terry bill.

June 18, 2007 – A legislative effort to block California from implementing its Clean Cars Law has ended – for now. U.S. Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Rick Boucher (D-Va.) withdrew contentious language that had stirred a hornet’s nest in the nation’s capital during the first two weeks of June.
Letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

June 1, 2007 – House Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher (D-Va.) circulated draft energy legislation that included provisions to repeal the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act authority to regulate global warming pollution from vehicles and substantially limit its authority to regulate fuels. It would block at least 12 states from going forward with adopted clean car standards that limit global warming emissions from vehicles, and effectively overturn the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA. News coverage of the political play.

Within days, supporters of states’ rights to adopt California’s clean car standards were responding with dismay.

History of Attacks on State Authority

The major automobile manufacturers, usually led by General Motors, have consistently fought against efforts by California and other states to set better motor vehicle emission standards. In 1990, the auto industry unsuccessfully tried to persuade Congress to eliminate the right of states to adopt California vehicle emission standards.

In the 1990s, the car companies again lobbied against California vehicle standards and went to court to block 13 Eastern states from adopting those standards. (Several states adopted those standards anyway.)

The car industry has continued its assault in the 21st century — suing to block California's global warming pollution standards as well as their adoption by other states. The car companies also unsuccessfully tried to persuade a National Research Council panel to curb state authority.

Ironically, one small engine company, Briggs & Stratton Corporation, accomplished what the car companies haven't been able to. In 2003, it persuaded Congress (led by Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri) to change the Clean Air Act "through the back-door approach of a spending bill" to take away the rights of states to adopt California standards for lawn mowers and other small engines. It is a bad and dangerous precedent.

National Academies Report and Related Activities

In March 2006, the National Research Council gave a ringing endorsement to the California clean car program:

"The California program has been beneficial overall for air quality by improving mobile source emission control," the Council concluded.

"California should continue its pioneering role in setting mobile source emission standards. The role will aid the state's efforts to achieve air quality goals and will allow it to continue to be a proving ground for new emissions-control technologies that benefit California and the rest of the nation."

Read the NRC press release and find the report online.

Read more from the National Academies Press.

Other Support for State Authority

"The right of individual states to set policy with respect to the health and welfare of their citizens is a fundamental tenet in which we both strongly believe."

—California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and New York Governor George E. Pataki — January 2005 (read)


"It is important to note that motor vehicles emissions are an increasingly significant share of total emissions in states outside of the Northeast. Absent further reductions from the federal motor vehicle program, states will need to retain the option to exercise the authority to implement the California program, as it is the most effective tool available for reducing mobile source emissions."

—Robert W. Golledge, Jr., Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Conservation; Carl Johnson, Deputy Commissioner, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; Dawn R. Gallagher, Commissioner, Maine Department of Environmental Protection; Gina McCarthy, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, and Jeffrey Wennberg, Commissioner, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation — August 10, 2005 (read)


"Over 150 million people live in areas of the country where air quality violates new, health-based standards for smog and soot and causes serious health and welfare impacts," said John Paul, President of Association of Local Air Pollution Control Officers (ALAPCO) and Supervisor of the Regional Air Pollution Control Agency in Dayton, Ohio."Removing or restricting existing authorities would thwart the ability of states and localities to fulfill their public health obligations," he explained.

"Although mobile source standard-setting authorities have been available for many years, history has demonstrated that states have used them very judiciously and only after meticulous analysis," noted Eddie Terrill, President of (State and Territorial Air Pollution Prevention Association (STAPPA) and Director of the Oklahoma Air Quality Division.

"As we face the ever-increasing public health challenges associated with air quality, it is essential that we preserve and support these and every other every tool available to confront these challenges head on, now and in the future," Terrill continued. — March 15, 2006 (read)


"Motor vehicles are a major source of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in our state and, with these new rules, we are taking a significant step in cleaning our air and improving the quality of life in the Bay State," said Stephen Pritchard, Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs. — January 9, 2006 (read)    


"This is a real victory for air quality in the northeast," said Maine Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner David Littell in response to the March 2006 National Research Council report. "For years Maine has consistently adopted more stringent standards to protect public health and this report endorses our actions for cleaner air." — March 16, 2006 (read)


"The Clean Air Act sets federal air quality standards but requires the states do much of the work to implement them. For many states, federal programs to reduce pollution from power plants, cars and trucks, and other sources are not enough to meet these standards. As a result, states are often at the forefront of developing and testing novel policies to address local air quality problems." — from U.S. PIRG Education Fund report, "Power to Protect: The Critical Role States Play in Cleaning Up Pollution from Mobile Sources," June 2005 (read)