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Attorney General William Tong


Attorney General Tong Joins Coalition in Support of EPA Proposal to Restore California Waiver for Clean Car Standards

(Hartford, CT)—Attorney General William Tong today joined a coalition of 22 attorneys general, as well as the cities of Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose, in support of the EPA’s proposal to restore California’s waiver under the Clean Air Act for its greenhouse gas and zero emission vehicle (ZEV) programs.

The coalition also supports the EPA’s proposal to rescind its previous determination that Section 177 of the Clean Air Act does not authorize other states to adopt California’s greenhouse gas standards for passenger cars and light trucks. California’s standards, which already result in emissions reductions of hundreds of thousands of tons annually, are essential components of Connecticut’s and other states' plans to fight climate change and protect public health.

“This Trump Administration attack on California's Clean Car Standards was a giant step backwards for environmental protection,” Attorney General Tong said. “These standards, adopted by Connecticut under the Clean Air Act, are critical to fight climate change and improve public health and our environment. It’s time to restore California’s waiver because these standards are necessary to the health and welfare of our citizens.”

Sixty years ago, California was a pioneer in adopting vehicle emission standards — long before any federal vehicle emission standards even existed. Since then, California has been granted more than 100 waivers, including in 2013 when the EPA granted California a waiver for its Advanced Clean Car program. Six years later, under the Trump Administration, the EPA withdrew California’s waiver to set its own greenhouse gas and ZEV standards, which a California-led coalition swiftly challenged in court. Litigation in that case is currently stayed to permit the current EPA to reconsider.

California’s clean car standards have been adopted by thirteen states representing more than one-third of the U.S. automobile market and are currently under consideration in a number of others. These standards, which have been implemented in some states for more than a decade, are essential components of state plans to reduce emissions and attain federally mandated National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particulate matter and ozone — two pollutants which cause significant adverse health impacts. According to CARB analysis, California’s Advanced Clean Car Program, of which it's greenhouse gas and ZEV standards are critical components, is expected to result in a 75% reduction in smog-forming pollution and a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for an average car sold in 2025 as compared to 2012, when the program was adopted. These standards are not only crucial for reducing emissions now to mitigate the threats Connecticut resident's face from climate change — they also drive technological innovation that will enable deeper emissions reductions of all of these harmful pollutants in the future.

A copy of the comment letter can be found here.
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