[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 54 (Wednesday, March 22, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 14671-14672]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-05316]



National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Parts 523, 531, 533, 536 and 537


40 CFR Part 86

Notice of Intention To Reconsider the Final Determination of the 
Mid-Term Evaluation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Model 
Year 2022-2025 Light Duty Vehicles

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of 
Transportation's (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 

ACTION: Notice of intent.


SUMMARY: EPA announces its intention to reconsider the Final 
Determination of the Mid-Term Evaluation of greenhouse gas (GHG) 
standards for model year (MY) 2022-2025 light-duty vehicles and to 
coordinate its reconsideration with the parallel process to be 
undertaken by the DOT's NHTSA regarding Corporate Average Fuel Economy 
(CAFE) standards for cars and light trucks for the same model years.

DATES: March 22, 2017.

Transportation and Air Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 
Fuel Emissions Laboratory/OAR, 2565 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, 
telephone (734) 214-4466. Email: [email protected] and Rebecca 
Schade, Office of the Chief Counsel, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; 
telephone: (202) 366-2992.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: By this notice, EPA announces its intention 
to reconsider its Final Determination of the Mid-Term Evaluation of GHG 
standards for MY 2022-2025 light-duty vehicles. The EPA has inherent 
authority to reconsider past decisions and to revise, replace or repeal 
a decision to the extent permitted by law and supported by a reasoned 
explanation. FCC v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., 556 U.S. 502, 515 
(2009). In 2012, EPA committed to continuing to coordinate development 
of its Clean Air Act (CAA) section 202(a)(1) (42 U.S.C. 7521(a)) 
emission standards with NHTSA's development of CAFE standards for 
light-duty vehicles, but did not do so in development and publication 
of EPA's January 12, 2017 Midterm Evaluation of standards conducted 
under 40 CFR 86.1818-12(h) of EPA's regulations. EPA now announces it 
will reconsider that determination in coordination with NHTSA.
    The Mid-Term Evaluation was established to review standards set in 
a 2012 joint rulemaking by the EPA and NHTSA, which set federal GHG 
emissions and CAFE standards for MY 2017 and beyond for light-duty 
vehicles. 2017 and Later Model Year Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas 
Emissions and Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards, Final Rule, 77 
FR 62624 (Oct. 15, 2012). These standards, codified for EPA at 40 CFR 
86.1818-12, apply to passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty 
passenger vehicles (i.e., sport utility vehicles, cross-over utility 
vehicles and light trucks), collectively referred to in this notice as 
light-duty vehicles.
    The EPA and NHTSA finalized separate sets of standards under their 
respective statutory authorities. EPA set GHG standards (including 
standards for emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous 
oxide, methane and air conditioning refrigerants) for MY 2017-2025 
passenger cars and light-trucks under section 202(a) of the CAA. NHTSA 
sets national CAFE standards under the Energy Policy and Conservation 
Act (EPCA), as amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act 
(EISA) of 2007 (49 U.S.C. 32902). NHTSA set final CAFE standards for MY 
2017-2021 light-duty vehicles and issued augural standards for MYs 
    The 2012 rulemaking establishing these standards included a 
regulatory requirement for the EPA to conduct a Mid-Term Evaluation of 
the GHG standards established for MYs 2022-2025. 77 FR 62625 (October 
15, 2012), codified at 40 CFR 86.1818-12(h). In July 2016, EPA, NHTSA, 
and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released for public 
comment a jointly prepared Draft Technical Assessment Report, which 
examined a range of issues relevant to GHG emissions and CAFE standards 
for MYs 2022-2025. 81 FR 49217 (July 27, 2016). In November, 2016, EPA 
issued a proposed determination for the Mid-Term Evaluation. 81 FR 
87927 (Dec. 6, 2016). On January 12, 2017, the EPA

[[Page 14672]]

Administrator signed the Final Determination of the Mid-Term Evaluation 
of light-duty vehicle GHG emissions standards for MYs 2022- 2025.
    Under 40 CFR 86.1818-12(h), no later than April 1, 2018, the EPA 
Administrator must determine whether the GHG standards previously 
established under 40 CFR 86.1818-12(c) for MYs 2022-2025 are 
appropriate under section 202(a) of the CAA, in light of the record 
then before the Administrator. Given that CO2 makes up the 
vast majority of the GHGs that EPA regulates under section 202(a), and 
given that the technologies available for regulating CO2 
emissions do so by improving fuel economy (which NHTSA regulates under 
EPCA/EISA), NHTSA's views with regard to what CAFE standards would be 
maximum feasible for those model years is an appropriate consideration 
in EPA's determining what GHG standards would be appropriate under the 
CAA. See 40 CFR 86.1818-12(h)(1)(vii) (listing as one of the factors 
EPA should consider in the Mid-Term Evaluation ``[t]he impact of the 
greenhouse gas emission standards on the Corporate Average Fuel Economy 
standards and a national harmonized program''). However, NHTSA has not 
yet considered what CAFE standards would be the maximum feasible 
standards for MYs 2022-2025. Accordingly, EPA has concluded that it is 
appropriate to reconsider its Final Determination in order to allow 
additional consultation and coordination with NHTSA in support of a 
national harmonized program.
    For its part, NHTSA will continue to engage with stakeholders as it 
works to develop a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to set CAFE standards 
for MYs 2022-2025. As explained in the 2012 final rule, this proposal 
will be part of ``a de novo rulemaking conducted . . . with fresh 
inputs and a fresh consideration and balancing of all relevant factors, 
based on the best and most current information before the agency at 
that time.'' 77 FR 62652. A final rule for MY 2022 is statutorily 
required to be issued by NHTSA by April 1, 2020.
    In accord with the schedule set forth in EPA's regulations, the EPA 
intends to make a new Final Determination regarding the appropriateness 
of the MY 2022-2025 GHG standards no later than April 1, 2018.

    Dated: March 3, 2017.
Elaine L. Chao,
Secretary, Department of Transportation.

    Dated: March 3, 2017.
E. Scott Pruitt,
Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency.
[FR Doc. 2017-05316 Filed 3-21-17; 8:45 am]