Californian Auto Pollution Reduction program proves effective

Nov 21, 1996 01:00 AM

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has announced good news about a progressive program aimed at reducing tailpipe emissions from new automobiles and light trucks sold in California. ARB staff showed the Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) program is reducing the amount of tailpipe emissions from news cars. The LEV program calls for decreases in tailpipe emissions from new vehicles sold in California from 1994 through 2003. The decreases come in steps during each of the ten years. Results show the program is successful in reducing vehicle-produced smog while adding minimal cost to the purchase price. "Model years 1994, 1995 and 1996 have met the reduced pollution goals -- mainly through refinements in existing catalytic converters and fuel systems -- with the cost of these refinements estimated to be around $100 per vehicle. These figures average out to roughly 0.75 $cts for each pound of automobile pollution reduction. This compares to about $ 5 per pound for pollution reductions on the stacks of petroleum refineries and up to $ 11 per pound for reductions at other stationary pollution sources. By 2003 new vehicles sold in California will emit only 25 % of the most harmful pollutants which come from 1994 vehicles," said ARB Chairman John Dunlap. Dunlap noted emissions from cars and light trucks have been reduced by more than 90 % from 1966 though 1994. "This outstanding progress shows how much the air quality can improve when the state sets a particular standard and then gives industry sufficient time and flexibility to make that standard work," Dunlap said.

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