As the federal government moves to adopt environmental regulation in keeping with the new administration’s policies, states are forging ahead as well. For example, the Florida Environmental Regulation Commission recently adopted motor vehicle emissions standards identical to those previously enacted in California. The standards require that all new cars, light duty trucks and medium duty passenger vehicles that are bought, leased or otherwise rented within Florida meet the same stringent motor vehicle emission standards adopted by California (38 ER 1534, 7/13/2007). Florida officials say that adoption of the proposed regulations–combined with the federal corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard– will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Florida an additional 2 million metric tons by 2016 and an additional 10 million metric tons by 2020.
The proposed rule will not, however, go into effect immediately. First, the Florida legislature must ratify the rule and, second, the Environmental Protection Agency must grant the state a waiver for the greenhouse gas standards. Although the EPA denied California’s similar request, President Obama has directed his EPA Administrator to move quickly to approve the waivers (see accompanying article).
Facing this rapidly changing regulatory climate, SGR will endeavor to keep its clients apprised of developments in this, and all similar environmental laws. If you have any questions about how such proposed regulation will affect you or your company, please contact Steve O’Day, Phillip Hoover or Jessica Reece of the Sustainability Practice Group.