On August 21, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) published a joint notice in the Federal Register requesting public comment on EPA’s reconsideration of its Final Determination of the Midterm Evaluation of greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions standards for model year (“MY”) 2022-2025 light-duty vehicles. This action follows EPA’s March announcement that it would reconsider the Obama Administration’s decision to retain the MY 2022-2025 standards as originally promulgated. In addition, EPA is seeking comments on its GHG emissions standards for MY 2021. EPA will hold a public hearing, where members of the public may register to present oral comments, on September 6, 2017. The deadline to submit written comments is October 5, 2017.
Action Addresses Industry Dismay Over Obama EPA’s Haste -
EPA first announced its finding that GHGs endanger public health and welfare within the meaning of Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act in December 2009, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Massachusetts v. EPA. A few months later, EPA and NHTSA finalized the first set of federal GHG emissions standards and fuel economy standards for light-duty vehicles, covering MY 2012-2016. The agencies published updated standards in 2012 for MY 2017-2025. In recognition of “the long time frame at issue in implementing standards for MY 2022-2015,” and associated uncertainties about whether the industry would develop technological improvements needed to meet later MY standards on the appropriate timeline, EPA committed to conducting a midterm evaluation of those standards. The 2012 rule specified that EPA would issue a final decision on the midterm evaluation by April 1, 2018.
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