June 27, 2006

Oregon becomes 11th state to adopt California’s Low Emission Vehicle standards

Salem, Oregon – The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has approved adoption of California’s Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards, including mandated reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. California, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have all adopted California LEV.

Under the federal Clean Air Act, states can opt for either federal emissions standards set by the EPA, or adopt the standards developed by California. Federal U.S. law requires states that adopt California standards to do so identically, preventing the need for manufacturers to produce a “third vehicle” to meet the standard, although states do have some flexibility for customized implementation.

Oregon’s implementation of LEV will take effect with the 2009 vehicle model year; it also brings Washington into LEV, as that state adopted the standards contingent on Oregon adopting them.

The two main components of California LEV standards are the reduction of pollutants such as NOx and non-methane organic gases, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with a progressively restrictive emissions limit from 2009 through 2016. By 2016, new vehicles must emit an average of 30 per cent less CO2 equivalent.

Oregon’s LEV has a few differences from California LEV, most notably rules affecting Type III ZEV (hydrogen fuel cell vehicles), battery-electric vehicles, partial zero emission vehicles (PZEV) and advanced technology partial zero emission vehicles (ATPZEV). Oregon has delayed the deadline for manufacturers to provide Type III ZEV required in California LEV, but does require battery, PZEV and ATPZEV vehicles in 2009. Also, Oregon does not require manufacturers to provide PZEVs and ATPZEVs with a 15-year or 150,000-mile (241,400 km) warranty on all emission-related components as do the California rules, but does require that PZEVs include the same quality components as vehicles supplied to states that require the warranty.

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