Herrera sues the EPA to defend California’s clean car standards

Lawsuit challenges the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to block California’s clean car standards

SAN FRANCISCO (Nov. 26, 2019) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera released the following statement today after he filed a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to block California’s clean car standards:

“Vehicle emissions are a major cause of global warming. We need to be making more progress, not going backward. We are not going to sit idly by while the Trump administration ignores the effects of climate change and drags down our state and our nation. California’s clean car standards are an important tool for reducing emissions and pollution. Removing them would destroy decades of progress. We stand with science, and we will not relent in our fight to protect the environment for our children and the generations to come.”

Case Background

Under the federal Clean Air Act, California may obtain a waiver from the EPA to set its own vehicle emissions standards that are at least as protective as the federal government’s standards. Under certain conditions, other states have the option to adopt California’s standards. Congress granted California this option for several reasons, including: California’s historical leadership in vehicle emissions regulation; California’s need to address the extraordinary and compelling air pollution issues affecting the state; and the benefits the nation accrues from allowing California and willing states to foster advances in reducing pollution from vehicles.

Over the past 50 years, the EPA has granted more than 100 waivers for California standards. Those standards are responsible for reducing emissions by hundreds of thousands of tons annually, encouraging the development of emission controls technologies, and contributing to stronger federal standards, all as Congress intended.

In January 2012, California adopted its comprehensive Advanced Clean Cars Program for cars and light duty trucks for model years 2017 through 2025. The program combines the control of smog-causing pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions into a single coordinated package. The program improves air quality and curbs greenhouse gases while saving drivers money at the pump. When accounting for emissions savings from other states that have adopted California’s standards, these emission reductions nearly triple.

The EPA moved to revoke the California Clean Air Act waiver on Sept. 19, 2019.

San Francisco joins California and a coalition states and cities suing the EPA.

The case is City and County of San Francisco v. Environmental Protection Agency et al., D.C. Circuit Court of Appeal Case No. 19-1246, filed Nov. 25, 2019. More information can be found on the City Attorney’s website: www.sfcityattorney.org

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