Friday, 11 July 2008 10:04

Florida Considers California Emission Standards

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to brief the Environmental Regulation Commission (ERC) on its rule development project for the adoption of the California motor vehicle emissions standards. The purpose of the hearing was to review comments received regarding the proposed adoption of California emissions standards. 

    The department received more than 200 comments from industry stakeholders and public citizens. The most prevalent comments stated Florida should not cede its authority to California by implementing its rules rather than rules applicable to Florida. Industry stakeholders also noted that the implementation of California rules would negatively impact cost, choice, availability, performance and the safety of automobiles. Those in support raised environmental factors as justification for the adoption of California’s rules.
    In the update, the Florida DEP announced the proposed regulation will not include the California zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) standards. The extended warranty will also be excluded from the proposed regulations. The department concluded that the ZEV is part of California’s program and is impractical for Florida to adopt at this time. In the upcoming months, the DEP expects that the denial of the California waiver will be overturned. Until that happens, the DEP recommends that Florida adopt the greenhouse gas (GHG) rules as soon as possible.
    After the conclusion of the rulemaking, Florida must wait two model years before obtaining ratification from the Florida legislature and implementing the rule. Therefore, the DEP set a timeline to release the notice of proposed rulemaking in July and hold a hearing in August before the certification and ratification process.
    ASA supports clean car programs that improve air quality and believes they can exist and prosper in states without expanding or extending warranties at the expense of independent repair facilities. Three workshops were held in 2007 and 2008 for consideration of this rule. Charlie Elder, AAM, owner of Ray Gordon Brake Service in Tallahassee, Florida, and a past chairman of the ASA board of directors, participated in each of the workshops.
    Elder said, “As a Florida repairer, I am pleased the proposed regulation does not include the vehicle super warranty. In the long run, they are expensive for consumers and will harm the Florida small business community.”


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