Irritated Citizens Derail California Clean Air Plan

     WASHINGTON (CN) – In response to a 9th Circuit ruling, the Environmental Protection Agency will withdraw its approval of California’s implementation plan to meet an emissions offset requirement under the Clean Air Act for the Los Angeles Basin.
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     The offset requirement for vehicle miles traveled allows states to impose less strict emissions mitigation measures if they can show that aggregate motor vehicle emissions are projected to decline each year in a particular planning period, despite any increase in vehicle miles traveled in the area.
     The 9th Circuit ruled in Irritated Citizens v. EPA that additional transportation control measures are required whenever vehicle emissions are projected to be higher than they would have been had vehicle miles traveled not increased, even when aggregate vehicle emissions are actually decreasing.
     California will now have to resubmit its state implementation plan for meeting National Ambient Air Quality Standards in the Los Angeles Basin to the EPA within 18 months. If it fails to do so highway funding sanctions in the Clean Air Act could be triggered, cutting of the spigot of transportation money from the federal government.
     The public has until Oct. 19 to comment on the EPA’s proposed action.
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