On March 15, 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that EPA intended to reconsider the final determination, issued on January 12, 2017, that recommended no change to the greenhouse gas standards for light duty vehicles for model years 2022- 2025. EPA announced it would reconsider that determination in coordination with NHTSA.
On May 1, a coalition of 17 states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington) and the District of Columbia sued to stop the reckless attempt to undermine the standards.
In response to the EPA’s rollback announcement, Section 177 state Governors, Attorneys General, Mayors and other leaders responded forcefully.
At the urging of the automotive industry in 2012, when California finalized its Clean Cars Program and U.S. EPA and NHTSA finalized federal GHG and fuel economy standards harmonized with California’s rule, all parties agreed to a midterm review process to assess the progress of the regulations and allow for adjustments, if needed. In 2016 and 2017, two concurrent midterm reviews were undertaken. One was for the harmonized National Program for fuel economy and greenhouse gases; it was conducted jointly by U.S. EPA, NHTSA, and ARB. The second review was a California-only process to review California’s ZEV regulation and its Low Emission Vehicle (LEV III) standards.
The US EPA concluded its Midterm Evaluation in January, 2017 and maintained the current emissions standards and the ARB concluded its own Midterm Review in March, 2017 and similarly voted to maintain the current standards. California’s Midterm Review stated that the standards were not only affordable and achievable with existing technology, but that they were also critical to meet the state’s GHG reduction requirements under SB32, and to meet the State Implementation Plan to meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards, and ARB’s own Mobile Source Strategy.
In preparation of the March, 2017 ARB Board meeting to consider the Midterm Review, more than 100 local elected leaders from Section 177 states (CT, ME, MD, MA, NJ, NY, OR, RI and VT) signed letters demonstrating their support for developing a strong ZEV marketplace within their states, cities and communities.