Image source does not exist News Release: 2014-03-03 The California Air Resources Board applauds announcement of final Tier 3 regulations

Release #:14-15

ARB PIO: (916) 322-2990

Dave Clegern
(916) 322-2990

The California Air Resources Board applauds announcement of final Tier 3 regulations

U.S. EPA action sets stage for cleaner cars and light trucks nationwide 2017-2025

SACRAMENTO - Today, California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols congratulated U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on the release of the final Tier 3 regulations to significantly reduce smog- and soot-forming emissions from 2017-2025 model-year cars and light trucks.

“California congratulates EPA on this latest step in aligning federal low-emission vehicle and fuel standards with California's stricter standards,” said California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols.  “This move sets the stage for a single set of requirements that will facilitate development of cleaner cars and light trucks and bring the benefits of healthier air to communities across the country.”

The Tier 3 vehicle regulations are modeled on California’s Low-Emission Vehicle III (LEV III) regulations that were adopted in early 2012 as part of California’s Advanced Clean Cars Program.  The Advanced Clean Cars Program was designed to clean the air, fight climate change, deliver savings to consumers, spur automotive technology innovation, and drive job development in California.  The LEV III program combines the control of smog- and soot-forming pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions into a single coordinated package of requirements for model years 2015 and beyond.

The Tier 3 rule lowers the sulfur limits in gasoline to a 10 parts per million (ppm) annual average, a standard that will deliver immediate and significant reductions in emissions from current vehicles.  This will also better align national gasoline specifications with California’s requirements, benefiting public health, consumers, and the car industry.

California's clean fuel requirements, in place since the 1990s, have delivered emission reductions equivalent to removing 3.5 million vehicles from the state's road and highways.  California's fuel rules alone have reduced smog-forming emissions from motor vehicles by 15 percent, reduced potential cancer risk from vehicle emissions by 40 percent, and slashed toxic emissions (including benzene) in half.

While many elements of the Tier 3 vehicle regulations mirror California’s LEV III regulations, a number of critical differences remain that are vital for meeting California’s air quality goals.  Most notably, the LEV III regulations reduce soot in emissions in 2025 to a greater extent than the levels required under the Tier 3 standard. Also, under the Advanced Clean Car Program, California continues its zero-emission vehicle mandate to accelerate the development of ultra-clean technologies by requiring manufacturers to produce increasing numbers of zero-emission vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the 2018-2025 model years.  

California remains committed to continue to lead on innovative and ground-breaking air quality programs that benefit the State and serve as a model for the nation.  California looks forward to collaborating with the federal agencies to achieve the lowest feasible levels of greenhouse gas, smog, soot, and toxic air emissions, both in California and throughout the country.

ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.