California Sues EPA in Attempt to Tighten Car Emission Rules
SACRAMENTO, Calif. --- The state of California sued the federal government last week, insisting that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency quit stalling and issue a waiver that will authorize the state to enforce its emission standards on cars and other light vehicles, the L.A. Times reported.
The state-adopted standards seek to cut California carbon emissions by one-fourth by 2020, the Times reported.
"There's no legal basis for Washington to stand in our way," said California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger while announcing the lawsuit with California Attorney General Jerry Brown.
California and some other states have requested an EPA waiver that will authorize them to enforce their own emission limits. Those state regulations, which would take effect as early as 2009, cannot be enforced without an OK from the Bush administration. Under the Clean Air Act, California has special rights to adopt its own pollution controls. Other states, in turn, have the option of adopting California's emission standards if they want tougher controls than those outlined in federal rules. But they need the federal waiver to enforce those state rules.
The California Legislature passed a new set of carbon emission standards back in 2002, and Gov. Gray Davis signed them into law. The waiver request was filed with the EPA nearly two years ago, but the agency has taken no action --- neither granting nor denying the waiver. The lawsuit seeks to force the EPA to take action. Since the 1970s, the federal government has granted at least 50 such requests from California, Brown said.