Nearly two years ago the state requested a waiver from the E-P-A to enforce stricter auto emissions standards. The standards are the result of a state law aimed at reducing emissions from cars by 30 percent by 2016. But the federal agency has dragged its feet, and Governor Schwarzenegger notified the E-P-A in the spring the state would sue in 180 days if there was no decision. The Governor’s Press Secretary Aaron McLear:
“We need the waiver. It’s pretty simple. California is saying we would like to be stronger on air pollution here in California than the federal government is, is that ok? It’s amazing that the federal government is balking at this.”
If California gets its waiver, 14 other states will also be able to enforce tougher standards. The E-P-A has historically granted such waivers to the golden state. The agency has promised a decision by the end of the year.
Automakers have sued the state over the tougher emissions standards. A federal judge in Fresno will hold a hearing on a motion to dismiss that case Monday.