WSR 08-18-064

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY


[ Order 08-16 -- Filed September 2, 2008, 1:09 p.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: The proposed rule will update chapter 173-423 WAC, Low emission vehicles, to accomplish two things: (1) Incorporate by reference (IBR) recent changes to California clean car regulations to maintain consistency with the California motor vehicle emission standards, and (2) incorporate by reference California's environmental performance (EP) label requirement which provides global warming (greenhouse gases) and smog emissions scores for new automobiles.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 70.120A.010 and chapter 32, Laws of 2008, SSB 6309, Greenhouse gas emissions -- Disclosure -- New vehicles.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The Washington legislature requires automotive emissions standards to be consistent with California low emission vehicles standards in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations. The federal Clean Air Act allows states to opt into the California clean car program and requires that states who opt in maintain consistency with the California vehicle emission standards. RCW 70.120A.010 directs ecology to "amend the rules from time to time, to maintain consistency with the California motor vehicle emission standards." This rule making will IBR the latest version of Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations into chapter 173-423 WAC. The update includes California's EP label program, which also fulfills the requirements of SSB 6309.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: No other ecology programs or federal agencies are involved. The department of licensing (DOL) has a role to ensure only new vehicles meeting California standards are registered in Washington. This rule making does not alter or affect the DOL role but ecology will keep them informed of the process.

Process for Developing New Rule: The proposed rule will be drafted internally by staff using IBR of Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations. The public will have the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule. At least one public hearing will be held and the proposed amendments will be posted on the agency web site and provided to interested parties.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Neil Caudill, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600, phone (360) 407-6811, fax (360) 407-7534, ncau461@ecy.wa.gov, or accessing the ecology web site http://www.ecy.wa.gov/laws-rules/index.html.

August 28, 2008

Stuart A. Clark

Air Quality Program Manager

Washington State Code Reviser's Office