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EPA, DOT Open Comment Period on GHG Standards for Cars and Light Trucks

In a joint Federal Register notice, the U.S. EPA and the DOT opened a public comment period on the reconsideration of the January 2017 Final Determination for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for cars and light trucks for model years (MY) 2022-2025. Separately, EPA is also taking comment on whether the MY 2021 standards are appropriate. The Agency is inviting the public to submit relevant data and information that can inform a final determination of the standards.

“We are moving forward with an open and robust review of emissions standards, consistent with the timeframe provided in our regulations,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “We encourage the public to submit the best-available and most up-to-date information, so that we can get back on track with what the regulation actually requires of the Agency.”

In March 2017, EPA and the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the Trump Administration’s decision to revisit the Midterm Evaluation Process, which was established as a part of the 2012 final greenhouse gas emissions standards for model years 2017-2025.  This requires EPA to determine, no later than April 1, 2018, whether the 2022-2025 standards determined by the previous administration are appropriate.  If the Agency believes that the final determination issued by the past administration is not realistic, it would submit a new proposal for public comment.

In its July 26, 2017 “Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Model Year 2022–2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that as part of its upcoming Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rulemaking, it may evaluate the model year 2021 standards it finalized in 2012 to ensure they remain “maximum feasible” (See 82 FR 34742). In today’s notice, in the interest of harmonization between the GHG and CAFE programs, EPA is also requesting comment on whether the light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas standards established for model year 2021 are appropriate.

As part of the rulemaking establishing GHG standards for MYs 2017-2025, EPA included a Mid-term Evaluation for the MY 2022-2025 standards. EPA regulations require EPA to determine whether or not the existing standards for model years remain appropriate under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act.  The Final Determination is the last step in a Midterm Evaluation process and must be completed by April 1, 2018.

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