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NHTSA Proposes Reinstating California Emissions Authority

The National Highway Transit Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing restoring California and other state’s ability to set more stringent limits on greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle tailpipes. California has a waiver under the Clean Air Act that gives the state special regulatory authority in environmental issues. However, the Trump administration ruled that California could not use that authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from tailpipes.

In the new proposal, NHTSA states that the agency has doubts over “whether NHTSA had the authority to define the scope of ECPA preemption through legislative rules, carrying the force and effect of law”. The current proposal “restore a clean slate” by fully repealing the existing regulations and giving California and other state’s authority to set more stringent emissions regulation.

Currently, fourteen states and D.C. have adopted the same emissions standards as California, and three other states are considering similar legislation. This NHTSA proposal will be open for public comment for 30 days after its publication on the federal register.


To read the NHTSA proposal, click here.