Northeastern States Adopting Greenhouse Gas Rules for Vehicles
Most of the states in the Northeast are currently working to adopt regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles. The proposed rules duplicate new regulations adopted in late September by the California Air Resources Board. Beginning with Model Year 2009, the rules set limits for the total greenhouse gas emissions that new vehicles can emit per mile. The rules tighten each year, and by 2016, greenhouse gas emissions from lighter vehicles will be cut by one-third, while greenhouse gas emissions from heavier vehicles will be cut by about one-quarter. The federal Clean Air Act allows only California to set tougher vehicle emissions standards than the federal standard, but other states are allowed to implement the same rules as California.
Vermont and New York State were first to follow California's lead, adopting the new rules in early November. In Massachusetts and Maine, the deadlines for public comments on the proposed rules passed in October. In Rhode Island, Governor Donald Carcieri announced the proposed changes in October, and a public meeting is being held on November 30th. See the press release from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; the announcement and supporting documents from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation; the public comment period announcement (PDF 58 KB) and supporting document (PDF 245 KB) from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection; the proposed regulation and announcements from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection; the press release from Governor Carcieri, and the announcement of the public hearing and comment period from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. Download Adobe Reader.