The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted California a waiver which allows the state to implement strong vehicle-related smog and particle pollution controls, greenhouse gas emission (GHG) standards, and a zero emission vehicle standard.

“Although it is getting better, California has long faced unique and dangerous air quality challenges. Today’s action from the EPA recognizes California’s fundamental right to protect the health and welfare of its citizens,” said Jane Warner, president and CEO of the American Lung Association in California, and one of the co-chairs of the California Clean Cars Campaign. The campaign is comprised of top business, consumer, health, labor, environmental, and community leaders and organizations from across the state, all of whom support strong clean car standards.

The California Clean Cars Campaign focuses on implementing strong vehicle-related smog and particle pollution controls, greenhouse gas emission (GHG) standards, and a zero emission vehicle standard. Credit: California Clean Cars Campaign.

“I am proud to have played a role in supporting California’s efforts to move the country toward this remarkable achievement on clean cars. We stand ready to support the kind of market growth and development that this rule envisions,” said Campaign co-chair, Wendy Greuel. “I will work to make Los Angeles the zero emission vehicle capital of the world.”

The waiver from the EPA also allows other states to adopt California’s program. When fully implemented in the states that have signaled they want to adopt California’s policies, about 40 percent of cars sold in the United States will meet the California Clean Cars Program strong standards.

“The EPA has delivered a much-needed holiday present to consumers across the nation,” said Campaign co-chair, Ken McEldowney, executive director of consumer action. “Time and again, consumers have expressed support for stronger vehicle pollution controls. This is especially good news for the poorest among us who disproportionately suffer from the health effects of pollution.”

The new waiver from the EPA will help California improve its air quality and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Credit: NAFTC.

As the nation’s largest auto market, California is uniquely positioned to spark new automotive innovation.

“Historically, we know that smart vehicle policy that sets a high but achievable bar encourages automakers, component makers and hybrid and battery innovators to invest in developing new and better technologies,” said Campaign co-chair, Bruce Klafter, managing director of worldwide operations and head of corporate responsibility and sustainability at Applied Materials. “Automakers are already announcing proactive plans to up their production of hybrids, battery electric cars, and fuel cell vehicles.”

The EPA has granted more than 50 California waivers in the last four decades. In 2009, the Obama Administration granted California a waiver to implement clean vehicle standards through model year 2016. The new waiver grants California the right to implement its new California Clean Cars Program for model years 2017-2025.

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