Statement: Minnesota judge approves Clean Cars Rule

Media Contacts
Simon Horowitz

Key decision takes state one step closer to ending vehicular pollution

Environment America

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota could soon be the 14th state to advanced establish clean cars standards. Following a multi-year rulemaking process, Minnesota Administrative Law Judge Jessica A. Palmer-Denig approved the state government’s proposal to adopt the Advanced Clean Cars Program. The rule creates both a low-emission vehicle (LEV) and zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) program. The LEV rule will strengthen regulations on tailpipe emissions for newly sold vehicles in an effort to reduce air pollution. The ZEV program will work to ensure more electric vehicles are manufactured and sold in Minnesota. 
The judge recommends the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) move forward and formally adopt the rule. Once the MPCA does so, Minnesota will join 13 other states and Washington, D.C., in adopting LEV and ZEV rules. 

Simon Horowitz, Global Warming Solutions associate with Environment America, issued the following statement:

“By protecting public health and combating climate change, this clean cars rule is a victory for not only every Minnesotan but every American. Transportation is the largest source of global warming pollution in Minnesota, accounting for 26 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Cars, pickup trucks and SUVs are dirtying our air and harming our planet, which creates health risks. The state estimates that in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, 2,000 – 4,000 people in Minnesota died from air pollution-related causes. While we need accessible public transit, safer sidewalks and more bike lanes, the reality is many Minnesotans rely on cars. The clean cars rule will make the cars we drive cleaner and safer.
The Biden administration is also considering strengthening the federal clean cars standards on tailpipe pollution. However, this doesn’t mean states should hit the brakes on their own clean cars rules. We need a multi-faceted approach at all levels of government to protect our climate and public health. We urge the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to move forward with its proposal and formally adopt the clean cars program. As the first state in the Midwest to do so, Minnesota would serve as a leader for other states hoping to adopt a clean cars program of their own.”