MPCA moves forward with new vehicle emissions standards

North America, USA, Minnesota, Minneapolis, Skyline from 46th Street I-35W Overpass. (Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency announced Friday it is moving forward with a proposed clean car rule intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

The MPCA said the Clean Cars Minnesota rule would adopt two new emissions standards for vehicles already used in other states around the country: the low emission vehicle (LEV) standard and the zero emission vehicle (ZEV) standard. 

Low emission vehicle (LEV) standard regulates the amount of greenhouse gases and other harmful air pollution that new vehicles can emit, the MPCA said in a news release. The LEV standard only applies to new light- and medium-duty vehicles like cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks.

The ZEV standard requires auto manufacturers to deliver more battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid models for sale in Minnesota, increasing each year, according to the release. The MPCA said the exact number of vehicles is linked to the automaker’s overall sales within the state.

If approved, the new emissions standards would apply to new vehicles and take effect beginning with model year 2025. 

The Office of Administrative Hearings has scheduled a two-day hearing on the proposed clean car standards for Feb. 22-23. The MPCA will also hold four online information sessions in January: 

  • Tuesday, January 19, 2021, at 10 a.m.
  • Wednesday, January 20, 2021, at 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 27, 2021, at 1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, February 2, 2021, at 6 p.m.