Home Page Advertising About Us



















Classified Ads powered by CollectionCar.com







California State Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Standards; Waiver of Federal Preemption--Notice of Waiver Decision and Within the Scope Determination




Special Collections Reference Desk
The Crittenden Automotive Library at The Internet Archive The Crittenden Automotive Library on Twitter The Crittenden Automotive Library on Facebook The Crittenden Automotive Library on Tumblr

American Government

California State Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Standards; Waiver of Federal Preemption--Notice of Waiver Decision and Within the Scope Determination

Richard D. Wilson
February 6, 1998

[Federal Register: February 6, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 25)]
[Notices]               
[Page 6173-6175]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr06fe98-68]


[[Page 6173]]

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[AMS-FR-5963-2]

 
California State Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Standards; 
Waiver of Federal Preemption--Notice of Waiver Decision and Within the 
Scope Determination

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice regarding waiver of federal preemption and within the 
scope determination.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: EPA is granting California a waiver of Federal preemption 
pursuant to section 209(b) of the Clean Air Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 
7543(b) (Act), beginning in the 1998 model year to enforce amendments 
to its motor vehicle pollution control program which set new standards, 
and certification and test procedures for newly-established categories 
of ``Low-Emission'' medium-duty vehicles (MDVs). Additionally, EPA 
today has determined that California's amendments to its warranty 
statute and regulations for the 1994 and later model years for various 
motor vehicles are within the scope of previous waivers of Federal 
preemption granted pursuant to section 209(b) of the Act to adopt and 
enforce its revised emission standards and accompanying enforcement 
procedures for 1979 and later model year vehicles and engines.

DATES: Any objections to the findings in this notice regarding EPA's 
determination that California's amendments to its warranty statute and 
regulations for the 1994 and later model years for various motor 
vehicles are within the scope of previous waivers of Federal preemption 
must be filed by March 9, 1998. Otherwise, at the expiration of this 
30-day period, these findings will become final. Upon receipt of any 
timely objection, EPA will consider scheduling a public hearing to 
reconsider these findings in a subsequent Federal Register notice.

ADDRESSES: Any objections to the within the scope findings described 
above should be filed with Mr. Robert F. Montgomery, Manager, Engine 
Compliance Programs Group, Engine Programs and Compliance Division 
(6403J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M Street, SW, 
Washington DC 20460.
    The Agency's decisions as well as all documents relied upon in 
reaching these decisions, including those submitted by the California 
Air Resources Board (CARB), are available for public inspection in the 
Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center during the working 
hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Environmental Protection Agency, 
Air Docket (6102), Room M-1500, Waterside Mall, 401 M Street, S.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20460. All documents submitted in the Low-emission MDV 
waiver request can be found in Docket A-91-71; all documents submitted 
in the within the scope request for the warranty amendments can be 
found in Docket A-91-16. Copies of the Decision Document (which 
discusses both the waiver and the within the scope determination) can 
be obtained from EPA's Engine Programs and Compliance Division by 
contacting Robert M. Doyle, as noted below, or can be accessed on the 
EPA Office of Mobile Sources Internet Home Page, also noted below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert M. Doyle, Attorney/Advisor, 
Engine Programs and Compliance Division (6403J), U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency, 401 M Street S.W., Washington, D.C. 20460. 
Telephone: (202) 564-9258, FAX:(202) 565-2057, E-Mail: 
Doyle.Robert@EPAMAIL.EPA.GOV.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Obtaining Electronic Copies of Documents

    Electronic copies of this Notice and the accompanying Decision 
Document are available via the Internet on the Office of Mobile Sources 
(OMS) Home page (http://www.epa.gov/OMSWWW/). Users can find these 
documents by accessing the OMS Home Page and looking at the path 
entitled ``Regulations.'' This service is free of charge, except for 
any cost you already incur for Internet connectivity. The official 
Federal Register version of the Notice is made available on the day of 
publication on the primary Web site (http://www.epa.gov/docs/fedrgstr/
EPA-AIR/).
    Please note that due to differences between the software used to 
develop the documents and the software into which the documents may be 
downloaded, changes in format, page length, etc., may occur.

II. Low-Emission MDV Standards Waiver Request

    I have decided to grant California a waiver of Federal preemption 
pursuant to section 209(b) of the Act for amendments to its motor 
vehicle pollution control program which will (1) establish three new 
categories of low-emission MDVs based on levels of exhaust emission 
standards; ``Low-Emission Vehicle'' (LEV), ``Ultra Low-Emission Vehicle 
(ULEV), and ``Zero-Emission Vehicle'' (ZEV); (2) require manufacturers 
to certify certain minimum percentages of LEV-MDVs and ULEV-MDVs 
beginning in the 1998 Model Year, reaching a maximum percentage 
requirement in Model Year 2003, and (3) establish production credit 
banking and trading provisions to offer flexibility to manufacturers 
unable to meet the minimum percentages.\1\ A comprehensive description 
of the California low-emission standards and accompanying program can 
be found in the Decision Document for this waiver and in materials 
submitted to the Docket by California and other parties.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The waiver request EPA grants today, which pertains to low-
emission MDVs, is part of a comprehensive waiver request from 
California for its LEV program, which includes both light-duty 
vehicles (LDVs) such as passenger cars and light-duty trucks, and 
MDVs which are typically large trucks and other vehicles up to 
14,000 lbs Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. On January 13, 1993 (58 FR 
4166) EPA granted a waiver for the low-emission LDV component of 
California's program, and deferred action on the MDV component of 
the program (the subject of today's waiver). EPA chose to defer this 
action because at the time of the LEV waiver grant, an earlier 
waiver concerning MDVs (Docked A-91-55) was pending. This earlier 
request involved amendments to the California program which 
established new emission standards for MDVs in Model Year 1995 and 
beyond, and new accompanying certification and compliance test 
procedures and durability requirements. Because the low-emission MDV 
standards are amendments to the MDV standards considered in the 
request of Docket A-91-55, EPA needed to decide the earlier request 
before action on the low-emission MDV standards could be taken. On 
September 16, 1994 (announced in 59 FR 48625, September 22, 1994), 
EPA granted a waiver of Federal preemption to California's 1995 and 
beyond MDV standards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Section 209(b) of the Act provides that, if certain criteria are 
met, the Administrator shall waive Federal preemption for California to 
enforce new motor vehicle emission standards and accompanying 
enforcement procedures. The criteria include consideration of whether 
California arbitrarily and capriciously determined that its standards 
are, in the aggregate, at least as protective of public health and 
welfare as the applicable Federal standards; whether California needs 
State standards to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions; and 
whether California's amendments are consistent with section 202(a) of 
the Act.
    CARB determined that these standards and accompanying enforcement 
procedures do not cause California's standards, in the aggregate, to be 
less protective of public health and welfare than the applicable 
Federal standards. Information presented to me by parties opposing 
California's waiver request did not demonstrate that California 
arbitrarily or capriciously

[[Page 6174]]

reached this protectiveness determination. Therefore, I cannot find 
California's determination to be arbitrary or capricious.
    CARB has continually demonstrated the existence of compelling and 
extraordinary conditions justifying the need for its own motor vehicle 
pollution control program, which includes the subject standards and 
procedures. No information has been submitted to demonstrate that 
California no longer has a compelling and extraordinary need for its 
own program. Therefore, I agree that California continues to have 
compelling and extraordinary conditions which require its own program, 
and, thus, I cannot deny the waiver on the basis of the lack of 
compelling and extraordinary conditions.
    CARB has submitted information that the requirements of its 
emission standards and test procedures are technologically feasible and 
present no inconsistency with Federal requirements and are, therefore, 
consistent with section 202(a) of the Act. Information presented to me 
by parties opposing California's waiver request did not satisfy the 
burden of persuading EPA that the standards are not technologically 
feasible within the available lead time, considering costs. Thus, I 
cannot find that California's amendments will be inconsistent with 
section 202(a) of the Act. Accordingly, I hereby grant the waiver 
requested by California.
    My decision will affect not only persons in California but also the 
manufacturers outside the State who must comply with California's 
requirements in order to produce motor vehicles for sale in California. 
For this reason, I hereby determine and find that this is a final 
action of national applicability.
    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Act, judicial review of this final 
action may be sought only in the United States Court of Appeals for the 
District of Columbia Circuit. Petitions for review must be filed by 
April 7, 1998. Under section 307(b)(2) of the Act, judicial review of 
this final action may not be obtained in subsequent enforcement 
proceedings.
    As with past waiver decisions, this action is not a rule as defined 
by section 1(a) of Executive Order 12291, 46 FR 13193 (February 12, 
1981). Therefore, it is exempt from review by the Office of Management 
and Budget as required for rules and regulations by Executive Order 
12291. Nor is a Regulatory Impact Analysis being prepared under 
Executive Order 12291 for this determination, since it is not a rule.
    In addition, this action is not a rule as defined in the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. sec. 601(2). Therefore, EPA has not prepared 
a supporting regulatory flexibility analysis addressing the impact of 
this action on small business entities.
    Finally, the Administrator has delegated the authority to make 
determinations regarding waivers of Federal preemption under section 
209(b) of the Act to the Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation.

III. Warranty Amendments Within the Scope Request

    I have determined that California's amendments to its warranty 
statute and regulations as applied in the 1994 model year and beyond 
are within the scope of previous waivers of Federal preemption granted 
pursuant to section 209(b) of the Act. The substantive amendments to 
the emission warranty requirements which are applicable under 
California state law to 1990 and subsequent model year passenger cars, 
light duty trucks and medium-duty vehicles require manufacturers to 
provide the following:
    (1) An emission-related ``defects warranty'' for three years or 
50,000 miles. The manufacturer must warrant that the vehicle is free 
from defects in materials and workmanship which cause the failure of a 
warranted part to be identical in all material respects to the part 
described in the application for certification. The emission-related 
parts that are defective within the period of warranty coverage must be 
repaired or replaced by the manufacturer at no cost to the vehicle 
owner. Thus it need not be shown that the defect causes the vehicle to 
exceed the applicable emission standards.
    (2) A seven year or 70,000 mile ``extended defects warranty'' for 
emission-related parts costing more than $300 to replace. Manufacturers 
are required to identify those emission-related components on the 
existing Emissions Warranty Parts List that cost the consumer over $300 
to replace as of the time of certification and to warranty those for a 
period of seven years/70,000 miles.
    (3) A ``performance warranty'' for three years or 50,000 miles, 
whichever first occurs. Manufacturers must warrant the vehicle will 
pass an inspection and maintenance (SMOG CHECK) test. If a vehicle 
fails the SMOG CHECK test the manufacturer will be liable for the cost 
of the part, labor, diagnosis, and the SMOG CHECK retest to ensure the 
vehicle passes. The manufacturer would not be liable for the failure if 
it could demonstrate that the failure was directly caused by abuse, 
neglect or improper maintenance or repair.
    (4) A prescribed Introductory Statement for owners. Manufacturers 
of all 1991 and subsequent model vehicles produced after January 24, 
1991 must include in their warranty booklet a specified, standardized 
statement that explains in layman's terms the vehicle owner's rights 
and responsibilities regarding the emission control system warranty. 
The manufacturer's detailed warranty statement will follow this 
specified statement.
    (5) Common Nomenclature. All emission-related service and 
certification documents, printed or updated by a manufacturer starting 
with the 1993 model year, must conform to the nomenclature and 
abbreviations in SAE publication J1930 ``Diagnostic Acronyms, Terms, 
and Definitions for Electrical/Electronic Systems''.
    (6) The emission warranty requirements for vehicles and engines 
other than 1990 and subsequent model passenger cars, light-duty trucks, 
and medium-duty vehicles will be continued without substantial change. 
These requirements cover pre-1990 and subsequent model year motorcycles 
and heavy-duty vehicles and engines.
    In a February 4, 1991 letter to EPA, CARB notified EPA of the 
above-described amendments to its warranty regulations affecting 1990 
model year and later vehicles, and requested that EPA confirm that 
these amendments to its warranty statute and regulations, and new 
regulations requiring the use of common nomenclature in certification 
and in-use documentation are within the scope of existing waivers of 
Federal preemption.2 The Executive Officer stated that 
``[t]he regulations do not undermine the Board's prior determination 
that the state standards are, in the aggregate, at least as protective 
of public health and welfare as applicable Federal standards.'' 
3 This statement, however, referred to a finding made by the 
Board before the passage of the Federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 
1990 (CAAA), which required that EPA promulgate new, more stringent 
Federal tailpipe emission standards for light-duty vehicles and light-
duty trucks beginning in the 1994 model year.4
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\  Letter from James D. Boyd, Executive Officer, CARB, to 
William K. Reilly, Administrator, EPA, dated February 4, 1991, at 2 
(hereinafter ``CARB letter'').
    \3\  CARB letter at 5.
    \4\  The CAAA were signed into law on November 15, 1990. New 
certification and new in-use tailpipe emission standards for all 
light-duty vehicles and light-duty trucks, commonly referred to as 
Tier 1 standards, were prescribed in section 203 of the Amendments, 
which added new sections 202(g) and 202(h) to the Clean Air Act 
(CAA). On June 5, 1991 EPA published the Final Rule implementing the 
Tier 1 standards in the Federal Register at 56 FR 25724. In 
addition, section 202(j) of the Act requires promulgation of a Cold 
CO standard. 58 FR 9468 (July 19, 1993).
    In addition, the Federal warranty requirements also changed 
beginning in the 1995 model year. The CAAA significantly modified 
the Federal light-duty requirements. Prior to the amendments the 
period of warranty coverage was generally 5 years/50,000 miles. The 
CAAA, beginning in the 1995 model year, shorten the basic defects 
warranty period to 2 years/ 24,000 miles but extend it to eight 
years/80,000 miles in the case of catalytic converters, electronic 
emissions control units, onboard diagnostic (OBD) devices, and other 
pollution control devices that meet certain criteria and are 
designated by the Administrator as a ``specified major emission 
control component.'' CAA Section 207(i).

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 6175]]

    In its February 1991 request, CARB compared the California 
standards and the Federal standards as they stood prior to the CAAA; 
the Board did not consider the protectiveness of the California 
standards as compared to the new standards made applicable by the CAAA. 
Consequently, California, at the time of its request had not made an 
initial determination, that its standards, in the aggregate, are as 
protective of public health and welfare as comparable Federal standards 
(including Tier 1) which apply in the 1994 and later model years.
    On October 4, 1991, California requested a waiver of Federal 
preemption for its LEV program standards, which under California state 
law are applicable to 1994 and later model year vehicles (which also is 
when the phase-in of the new Federal Tier 1 standards 
begins).5 In this request, California made a protectiveness 
finding with regard to the California standards as applicable to the 
1994 and later model years compared to the applicable Federal standards 
(including Tier 1) as a basis for the waiver request addressing LEV 
standards. For the reasons stated above, CARB acknowledged, in its 
October 1991 request for a waiver for its LEV standards, the 
possibility that EPA may address the warranty amendments as they apply 
only through the 1993 model year.6
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\  California Proposed Regulations for Low Emission Vehicle 
Standards and Clean Fuels (August 13, 1990). Letter from James D. 
Boyd, Executive Officer, CARB, to William K. Reilly, Administrator, 
EPA, dated October 4, 1991.
    \6\  Letter from James D. Boyd, Executive Officer, CARB, to 
William K. Reilly, Administrator, EPA, dated October 4, 1991, p. 10, 
footnote 14.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA announced, on August 14, 1992, its determination that 
California's amendments to its warranty program were within the scope 
of previous waivers only through the 1993 model year.7 EPA 
also stated that, provided California was granted a waiver of Federal 
preemption for its LEV standards, the warranty regulations which were 
the subject of CARB's request for a within-the-scope determination 
would continue to be within the scope of existing waivers beyond the 
1993 model year so long as they 1) do not undermine California's 
determination that its standards, in the aggregate, are as protective 
of public health and welfare as comparable Federal standards 2) do not 
affect the consistency of California's requirements with section 202(a) 
of the Act, and 3) raise no new issues affecting EPA's previous waiver 
determinations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\  57 FR 38502 (August 25, 1992).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On January 7, 1993, EPA granted a waiver of Federal preemption for 
the low-emission LDV component of California's LEV program.8 
EPA also has waived Federal preemption for California's standards 
applicable to 1995 and later model year MDVs.9 EPA has 
waived in today's decision California's MDV standards for 1998 and 
later model year vehicle and engines which are part of the LEV Program. 
EPA has previously determined that California's earlier emission 
warranty regulations were within the scope of previous 
waivers.10 Therefore, EPA now has determined that emission 
warranty regulations, which are the subject of CARB's February 4, 1991 
letter, as applied through the 1994 model year and beyond to passenger 
cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty vehicles and engines, are 
within the scope of earlier waivers granted for standards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\  58 FR 4166 (January 13, 1993).
    \9\  59 FR 48625 (September 22, 1994).
    \10\  37 FR 14831 (July 25, 1972); 44 FR 61096 (October 23, 
1979); 51 FR 12391 (March 26, 1986); 51 FR 15961 (April 22, 1986).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With regard to the 1994 and later model years, these amendments do 
not undermine California's determination that its standards, in the 
aggregate are as protective of public health and welfare as comparable 
Federal standards, are not inconsistent with section 202(a) of the Act, 
and raise no new issues affecting the Environmental Protection Agency's 
(EPA) previous waiver determination. Thus these amendments are within 
the scope of previous waivers determinations. A full explanation of 
EPA's decision is contained in a determination document which may be 
obtained from EPA as noted above.
    Because these amendments are within the scope of previous waivers, 
a public hearing to consider them is not necessary. However, if any 
party asserts an objection to these findings within 30 days of this 
notice, EPA will consider holding a public hearing to provide 
interested parties an opportunity to present testimony and evidence to 
show that there are issues to be addressed through a section 209(b) 
waiver determination and that EPA should reconsider its findings. 
Otherwise, these findings shall become final at the expiration of this 
30-day period.
    My decision will affect not only persons in California but also the 
manufacturers outside the State who must comply with California's 
requirements in order to produce motor vehicles for sale in California. 
For this reason, I hereby determine and find that this is a final 
action of national applicability.
    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Act, judicial review of this final 
action may be sought only in the United States Court of Appeals for the 
District of Columbia Circuit. Petitions for review must be filed by 
April 7, 1998. Under section 307(b)(2) of the Act, judicial review of 
this final action may not be obtained in subsequent enforcement 
proceedings.
    This action is not a rule as defined by section 1(a) of Executive 
Order 12291, 46 FR 13193 (February 12, 1981). Therefore, it is exempt 
from review by the Office of Management and Budget as required for 
rules and regulations by Executive Order 12291. Nor is a Regulatory 
Impact Analysis being prepared under Executive Order 12291 for this 
determination, since it is not a rule.
    In addition, this action is not a rule as defined in the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. sec. 601(2). Therefore, EPA has not prepared 
a supporting regulatory flexibility analysis addressing the impact of 
this action on small business entities.
    Finally, the Administrator has delegated the authority to make 
determinations regarding waivers of Federal preemption under section 
209(b) of the Act to the Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation.

    Dated: January 20, 1998.
Richard D. Wilson,
Acting Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation.
[FR Doc. 98-3043 Filed 2-5-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P



The Crittenden Automotive Library

Home - About Us - Advertising
Legal Information:  Disclaimers & Terms of Use





To notify The Crittenden Automotive Library of errors, suggest topics, contribute information, make a comment on a page or to ask a question e-mail us.