DATE: August 30, 2001
STATE LAWMAKERS TO EPA:
DON'T WEAKEN OR DELAY CLEAN-DIESEL RULE
(Washington, D.C.) - State lawmakers are urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to resist efforts to weaken or delay standards to clean up diesel trucks and buses and diesel fuel.
The National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) has approved a resolution supporting the standards, which have come under fire by segments of the oil industry.
"NCSL strongly supports EPA's engine and fuel standards and opposes efforts to either delay or weaken the fuel sulfur standard or delay or weaken achievement of the engine emission standards," notes the resolution approved by NCSL August 15 at its annual meeting in San Antonio. The resolution was introduced by Delegate James Hubbard (D-MD).
The clean-diesel standards, approved by the Clinton Administration, would significantly reduce pollution from new big diesel trucks and buses starting in 2007. To enable use of advanced pollution controls, the standards would eliminate most of the sulfur from diesel fuel by mid-2006.
The American Petroleum Institute and the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association have sued to block the fuel standards and separately have lobbied EPA to commission an "independent" study to reconsider them.
In February, EPA Administrator Christie Whitman publicly announced her support for the Clinton Administration standards, but secretly promised the White House that she would commission the "independent" study sought by the oil companies. Whitman publicly disclosed the planned study in a July 30 letter to Senator James Jeffords (I-VT).
"EPA should heed the state lawmakers rather than the oil companies," said , executive director of the Clean Air Trust. The full NCSL resolution is available from the Trust.
As always, please don't hesitate to call (202) 785-9625 if you'd like to discuss these or related issues.