Court Rules Against Federal Agencies
More than a dozen federal agencies failed to meet their requirements under the Energy Policy Act (EPACT) for acquiring alternative fueled vehicles, according to a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, said the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA). The Court also found that the federal agencies further violated the law by failing to prepare and make public annual compliance reports detailing the number of alternative fueled vehicles acquired during 1999, 2000, and 2001. In addition, the court found the Department of Energy (DOE) negligent in not making a final determination on whether the EPACT requirements should be extended to private and local government fleets. The judge gave DOE until August 29 to submit a proposed timetable for issuing the final rule and directed both sides in the court case to submit briefs by Sept. 12 on how long the court should give DOE to take action on the rule. The court will hold a hearing on the proposed timetable on Sept. 28. The court's decision on the private and local mandates does not necessarily mean that DOE will extend the mandates, but rather that DOE has to make a final decision on whether the mandates are needed or not.