BALTIMORE, MD—Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh on Friday joined a coalition of attorneys general in filing a lawsuit against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to challenge the Trump Administration’s decision to preempt California’s greenhouse gas emissions and Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) standards.
These standards were authorized in 2013 by a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and followed in part or whole by 13 other states, including Maryland and the District of Columbia.
In the lawsuit, the coalition asserts that this Preemption Rule is unlawful and should be vacated.
“Reversing course in the country’s efforts to reduce air pollution from passenger vehicles is unlawful, irresponsible, and endangers the health of our children and our environment,” said Attorney General Frosh. “Wiping out these common sense standards undermines successful efforts made by states, including Maryland, to combat greenhouse gas emissions.”
Under the federal Clean Air Act, California may apply for a waiver from EPA to set its own vehicle emissions standards that are at least as protective as the federal government’s standards, and EPA must approve the waiver, unless it makes certain findings. Over the past 50 years, the EPA has granted 100 waivers to California.
In January 2012, California adopted its comprehensive Advanced Clean Cars Program for cars and light duty trucks in model years 2017 through 2025.
Through its Preemption Regulation, NHTSA is attempting to declare the California greenhouse gas and ZEV standards preempted under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA).