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NESCAUM Applauds Reinstatement of Clean Air Act Waiver to Enforce Zero-Emission Vehicle and Greenhouse Gas Standards for Passenger Cars and Trucks

March 9, 2022

Paul J. Miller, Executive Director
(617) 259-2016


The Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) commends the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for reinstating the State of California’s waiver of preemption to enforce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) requirements of the state’s Advanced Clean Cars program. NESCAUM also commends EPA for withdrawing its erroneous statements in the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule that purported to limit the well-established authority of other states to adopt California’s motor vehicle emissions standards.

Transportation is the largest source of climate disrupting GHG emissions in the nation and a major source of smog, particulate matter, and hazardous air pollutants that harm public health. The authority embedded in the Clean Air Act for California to set motor vehicle emissions standards, and for other states to “opt-in” to those standards, is an important state right that has driven the innovation needed to ensure the American automotive industry remains competitive in a rapidly changing global marketplace, and historically has paved the way for increasingly stringent national standards. For decades, most of the Northeast states have enforced California’s clean car standards, including the ZEV program, in lieu of federal standards. These standards have led to dramatic improvements in air quality over this period and are a key component of the Northeast states’ comprehensive plans to achieve their GHG emissions reduction targets.

Paul Miller, NESCAUM Executive Director, said: “Today’s actions by EPA restore the basic architecture of cooperative federalism that has been in place for more than half a century to protect public health from air pollution. In partnership with California, NESCAUM looks forward to continuing its long history of supporting states in adopting and implementing California’s standards to reduce motor vehicle pollution, spur market innovation, create high-quality jobs, and promote strong federal action.”

NESCAUM submitted written comments and testimony on EPA’s proposal to reinstate the waiver. NESCAUM also submitted written comments on the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s related and recently finalized proposal to rescind its flawed rule on corporate average fuel economy preemption.

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NESCAUM is the regional non-profit association of state air pollution control agencies in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. NESCAUM serves as a technical and policy advisor to its member agencies on a wide range of air pollution and climate issues and facilitates multi-state initiatives to improve air quality and mitigate climate change. For more than three decades, NESCAUM and its members have closely collaborated with California and other states, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the automobile industry to promote low- and zero-emission vehicles.


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