Description: Lawsuit challenging the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's final regulation preempting state regulation of carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles.
California v. Chao
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 10/15/2019 Motion Download Motion to dismiss or transfer filed by defendants. 10/15/2019 Notice of Intent Download Notice of intent to file motion to dismiss filed by defendants. 10/08/2019 Motion Download Unopposed motion for leave to amend and supplement complaint filed by state plaintiffs. 09/20/2019 Complaint Download Complaint filed. States and Cities Challenged Rule Preempting State Regulation of Vehicle Carbon Dioxide Emissions. On September 19, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Acting Administrator James Owens signed a final rule in which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew the waiver that allowed California to promulgate greenhouse gas standards for vehicles and establish a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate. The rule also finalized text in NHTSA regulations explicitly preempting state regulation of carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles. EPA and NHTSA described these actions as “legal matters that are independent of the technical details” of proposed federal greenhouse gas and Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for light-duty vehicles that EPA and NHTSA have not yet finalized. EPA and NHTSA said the final waiver and preemption actions were necessary to ensure “the existence of one Federal program for light vehicles.” On September 20, California, 23 other states, the District of Columbia, New York City, and Los Angeles filed a lawsuit in federal district court in the District of Columbia against the Secretary of Transportation, Owens, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and NHTSA. The states asserted that the preemption regulation exceeded NHTSA’s authority, that the regulation contravened the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 and the Clean Air Act, and that NHTSA failed to consider the regulation’s environmental impacts as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. On September 27, nine nonprofit organizations filed a similar lawsuit challenging the NHTSA regulation.