Goddard: Local Control Best Way to Protect Air Quality Suit Seeks to Defend the EPA’s Approval of California Emissions Standards

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Oct. 9, 2009) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced that he is taking action to support local control by defending the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to grant states the right to regulate global warming pollution from automobiles.  Goddard, along with a coalition of 17 other state Attorneys General, this week filed a motion to intervene a lawsuit brought by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that seeks to deny individual states the ability to limit greenhouse gas emissions from cars.

On June 13, 2009, the EPA granted a Clean Air Act waiver to California, allowing it – and other states such as Arizona – to implement global warming pollution emission standards for cars.  On September 8, NADA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce brought a lawsuit that challenges this waiver from the EPA.  

The federal Clean Air Act (CAA) grants California – exclusively among all states – the power to enact its own air pollution standards for cars.  The CAA also allows other states to adopt California’s standards, but those standards can only take effect if the EPA grants a waiver exempting California from federal regulation.  The California standards, adopted in September 2004, would reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from cars by 30% by 2016.  Arizona adopted California’s standards in April 2008, and at least 17 other states have now either adopted or plan to adopt the California standards. 

The coalition is moving to intervene on the EPA’s behalf in a challenge to the EPA waiver decision that was filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on September 8, 2009.  The states or state agencies in the coalition are: Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.  The State of California has also moved to intervene on the EPA’s side. 

For more information, contact Anne Hilby at (602) 542-8019.

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