received its waiver, unless the waiver was granted prior to January 1, 1987 those states would be precluded from adopting vehicle emission standards for the 1990 model year. When interpreting a statute the court must give effect to its purpose. The purpose of § 177 was to permit states other than California to regulate vehicle emissions as part of their SIP. Therefore, to effectuate this purpose the court must find in favor of Defendants on the third count in the complaint.
Finally, the fourth count in the complaint alleges that DEC's adoption of the Part 218 Regulations did not comply with the two year leadtime requirement of § 177. First, Plaintiffs argue that § 177 requires that a state electing to adopt the California standards for a particular model year do so "at least two years before commencement of such model year (as determined by regulations of the Administrator)." 42 U.S.C. 7507(2). As noted above, the final Part 218 Regulations were adopted in May, 1992. Plaintiffs claim that this is less than two years before the commencement of the 1995 model year which according to Plaintiffs begins earlier than May, 1994. They argue that a state's failure to comply with the two year leadtime poses significant problems for the design and production of motor vehicles.
DEC concedes in its papers that it adopted the 1995 standards 19 months before work would begin on the 1995 vehicles. However, it argues that the court should not find this in violation of the leadtime requirement. First, Defendants argues that the California standards could not realistically have been adopted any earlier. The rulemaking process began only 16 days after California's adoption of the standards, and DEC adopted the regulations only nine months after the initial proposal. DEC asserts that a rulemaking of this magnitude ordinarily takes approximately 18 months. In other words, DEC is arguing that it adopted the regulations as fast as possible. This argument lacks merit.
Plaintiffs argue in their opposition to the cross-motions that DEC's difficulties in this regard are of its own making. However, even if the timing difficulties experienced by DEC were a function of state law, the regulations were not adopted two years prior to the commencement of the 1995 model year. This does not mean that DEC is prevented from adopting emission standards. Instead, it simply prevents enforcement of such standards in the 1995 model year.
Defendants' next argument is that since New York is required to adopt regulations identical to California's, every time California amends its regulations New York must amend its own. CARB enacted a resolution adopting the LEO regulations for model year 1995 on July 12, 1991. However, since there are no claims that subsequent amendments enacted by CARB caused the delay in promulgating the Part 218 Regulations, this argument is really academic. Therefore, the court declines to express what would in effect be an advisory opinion on this issue.
For the reasons expressed above, the court grants in part and denies in part the motions before it. Because the court finds that the "identicality" requirement contained in § 177 of the Act is limited to the LEV standards contained in the California Program, Defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment on count one is granted. As for the second count in the complaint, the court finds that the-Part 218 Regulations, as adopted by DEC, will have the effect of creating a "third vehicle" in violation of § 177. Therefore, Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment on count two of the complaint is granted.
As for the third count in the complaint, the court finds that the language of § 177 does not preclude § 177 states from adopting California standards prior to those standards receiving an EPA waiver. Plaintiffs' interpretation of the Act, insofar as it relates to this count, is contrary to the plain language of the Act, and would frustrate Congressional intent. Therefore, summary judgment is granted to Defendants on count three. Nevertheless, Plaintiffs' interpretation of the leadtime provisions of the Act is consistent with the plain language. Because the Part 218 Regulations which apply to the 1995 model year were not adopted two years before the commencement of that model year, summary judgment is granted to Plaintiffs on the fourth count in the complaint.
Finally, the fifth and sixth counts in the complaint pertain to the ZEV sales mandate contained in the Part 218 Regulations. Because the court finds that these regulations will limit the sale of California certified vehicles, and have the effect of creating a "third vehicle", they violate the clear language of the Act. Summary judgment is therefore granted to Plaintiffs on the last two counts in the complaint.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated at Binghamton, New York
January 22, 1993
Thomas J. McAvoy
United States District Judge