RL30298: AIR QUALITY AND MOTOR VEHICLES: AN ANALYSIS OF CURRENT AND PROPOSED EMISSION STANDARDS

The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (P.L. 101-549) established "Tier I" emission standards for new motor vehicles, which became effective in model year (MY) 1994. On May 13, 1999, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed more stringent "Tier 2" vehicle emission standards that would be phased in between MY2004 and MY2009. Because sulfur in gasoline impairs the operation of emission control technologies, EPA also is proposing national limits on gasoline sulfur levels, which would become effective in 2004. Compliance within these time frames would be mandatory if the standards are finalized. Prior to its Tier 2 proposal, EPA completed a voluntary agreement in March 1998 with 8 northeastern states and 23 vehicle manufacturers to establish a National Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Program. Manufacturers agreed to sell cleaner vehicles in the Northeast and the District of Columbia beginning in MY1999 and nationwide in MY2001. This report provides background information on the regulation of vehicle emissions in the United States, analyzes key elements of the National LEV program and EPA's Tier 2 proposal, summarizes major views on the proposal that have been expressed by the automobile industry, the oil refining industry, and some environmental organizations, and discusses relevant legislative activity in the 106th Congress. This report will be updated as developments occur.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Tables;
  • Pagination: 21 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00803665
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 27 2001 12:00AM