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PR STATEMENT BY C. BROWNER ON OZONE TRANSPORT PETITION

Release Date: 01/09/95
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PR STATEMENT BY C. BROWNER ON OZONE TRANSPORT PETITION

Carol M. Browner

Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Ozone Transport Commission Petition Announcement

December 19, 1994

Today I am happy to make two announcements that mean good news for all Americans who breathe unhealthy air.

First, I am announcing EPA's approval of a plan proposed by 12 Eastern states and the District of Columbia to clean up the air by introducing a cleaner car in their states. Under the states' plan, subject to final approval by each individual state, cars that are 70 percent cleaner than today's new cars will be sold in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. These states constitute the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC).

My second announcement is that EPA, the OTC states and the auto industry will continue working toward an alternative agreement -- one that would bring cleaner cars to every state. We believe this broader agreement would be the most sensible and cost-effective way of bringing clean air to Americans. EPA will continue to convene and support negotiations toward this broader agreement.

The OTC states submitted their petition for EPA approval in February 1993 under the Clean Air Act. Today, EPA is granting their request. The states will now have the option of adopting the cleaner-car program, beginning with model year 1999, or choosing other measures that would provide equivalent pollution reductions. Today's plan also provides for the sale of some advanced technology vehicles that reduce pollution by even more than 70The OTC petition did not request an EPA decision on electric car sales mandates.

The broader plan still being discussed by all parties would be more costeffective and would benefit public health across the country. It would enable the auto industry to market a cleaner car throughout the nation -- not simply in the OTC states and California. An alternative agreement would also promote the development of advanced car technology -- such as natural-gas-powered cars -- within the OTC states.

If a new agreement is reached, it will supplant the OTC plan approved today. Before that occurs, there will be an opportunity for EPA to hear officially from all parties, including non-OTC states. Already several non-OTC states have voiced strong support for a broader agreement -- but we need to hear from all states and from members of the public.

I want to thank the states, the auto industry, and the many other key participants for engaging in these difficult and important discussions. I commend all the parties for their continuing efforts to arrive at a commonsense, cost-effective, consensus agreement for cleaning up our air.

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