WASHINGTON- EPA reinstated California’s authority, on March 9, under the Clean Air Act to implement its own greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards and zero emission vehicle (ZEV) sales mandate. This action concludes the agency’s reconsideration of 2019’s Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule Part One: One National Program Rule (SAFE-1) by finding that the actions taken under the previous administration as a part of SAFE-1 were decided in error and are now entirely rescinded, according to an EPA press release.
“Today we proudly reaffirm California’s longstanding authority to lead in addressing pollution from cars and trucks,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan in the release. “Our partnership with states to confront the climate crisis has never been more important. With today’s action, we reinstate an approach that for years has helped advance clean technologies and cut air pollution for people not just in California, but for the US as a whole.”
With today’s action, EPA is also withdrawing the SAFE-1 interpretation of the Clean Air Act that would prohibit other states from adopting the California GHG emission standards. As a result, other states may choose to adopt and enforce California’s GHG emission standards in lieu of the Federal standards, consistent with section 177 of the Clean Air Act. This now allows California the ability to ban gas-powered cars and light trucks.