Oregon and Washington to Adopt California's Emission Standards
SALEM, OR -- Two Pacific Northwest States -- Oregon and Washington -- are getting ready to adopt California's new-vehicle emission standards to reduce greenhouse gases, according to the Associated Press. When that happens, California's newly implemented emissions standards -- the toughest in the country -- will be in effect along the entire West Coast from Canada to Mexico. By 2016, all new cars, SUVs and light trucks sold in the West Coast states would have to comply with the tougher standards on emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.The 2016 date was set to give automakers plenty of time to comply with the new standards. At least six states in the Northeast are also moving to adopt California's new tailpipe standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars. Under the federal Clean Air Act, California is allowed to set pollution standards for cars and trucks that are more stringent than federal standards. Other states can choose either California's standards or the looser federal rules. Most northeastern states have followed California vehicle emission rules for years, and now those states are making the change to reflect California's latest rules regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. While the movement has gained little traction in the Midwest and the South to date, it's gotten a huge boost with the three West Coast states unifying around the tough new California standards. According to the Associated Press article, Pennsylvania, Illinois and North Carolina, also are starting to look at moving to the new California standards. California lawmakers in 2002 directed the California Air Resources Board to develop rules to reduce vehicle emissions of greenhouse gases, a task the board completed last September. The regulations will be phased in starting in 2009, with all new cars, SUVS and light trucks required to be in full compliance by 2016. Critics argue that the rules would eventually add $3,000 to the cost of a new car.Washington state lawmakers voted to bring the strict California car-emissions standards to their state. However, as part of a compromise, lawmakers made their bill contingent on Oregon adopting the same standards. Both states' regulations would take full effect in 2016. Besides the three West Coast states that are moving to adopt the new emission standards, six North-east states are expected to finalize rules by the end of this year -- New York, Connecticut, New Jer-sey, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine, according to Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, an association of state air quality officials from the region. A seventh state, Rhode Island, is considering whether to adopt the new California rules or revert to less restrictive federal standards, the group said.