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EPA and DOT Announce Three Public Hearings on the Proposed SAFE Vehicles Rule

| Washington, DC

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will hold three public listening sessions on the proposed rulemaking, the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks (SAFE Vehicles Rule), in Fresno, California; Dearborn, Michigan; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The SAFE Vehicles Rule would update and correct the current national automobile fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards to give the American people greater access to safer, more affordable vehicles that are cleaner for the environment.

  • WHAT: Fresno, California, Public Hearing on the proposed SAFE Vehicles Rule
  • WHEN: Monday, September 24, 2018
  • WHERE: The Grand 1401, 1401 Fulton Street, Fresno, California 93721
  • WHAT: Dearborn, Michigan, Public Hearing on the proposed SAFE Vehicles Rule
  • WHEN: Tuesday, September 25, 2018
  • WHERE: The Dearborn Inn, 20301 Oakwood Boulevard, Dearborn, Michigan 48124
  • WHAT: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Public Hearing on the proposed SAFE Vehicles Rule
  • WHEN: Wednesday, September 26, 2018
  • WHERE: The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Pittsburgh Downtown, One Bigelow Square, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219

The hearings will start at 10 a.m. local time and continue until 5 p.m. or until everyone has had a chance to speak. If you would like to present oral testimony at a public hearing, please contact Kil-Jae Hong at NHTSA by the date specified, at kil-jae.hong@dot.gov. Please provide the following information: Name, affiliation, address, email address, telephone and fax numbers (if applicable), time you wish to speak (morning, afternoon) if there is a preference, and whether you require accommodations such as a sign language interpreter or translator.

Oral comments and supporting information presented at each session will be included in the docket for this proceeding.

The public hearing also provides an opportunity to offer comments regarding NHTSA's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), accompanying the proposed NHTSA fuel economy standards. Written comments about EPA and NHTSA’s joint proposal must be received by the last day of the comment period, October 23. Comments should be identified by Docket ID No. NHTSA-2018-0067 or EPA-HQ-OAR-2018-0283.

Background

In the proposal, EPA and NHTSA are seeking public comment on a wide range of regulatory options, including a preferred alternative that locks in MY 2020 standards through 2026, providing a much-needed timeout from further, costly increases. The agencies’ preferred alternative reflects a balance of safety, economics, technology, fuel conservation, and pollution reduction. It is anticipated to prevent thousands of on-road fatalities and injuries as compared to the standards set forth in the 2012 final rule. The joint proposal initiates a process to establish a new 50-state fuel economy and tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions standard for passenger cars and light trucks covering MYs 2021 through 2026.

The current standards have been a factor in the cost of new automobiles rising to an average of $35,000 or more—out of reach for many American families. Indeed, compared to the preferred alternative in the proposal, keeping in place the standards finalized in 2012 would add $2,340 to the cost of owning a new car, and impose more than $500 billion in societal costs on the U.S. economy over the next 50 years.

Additionally, a 2018 government study by NHTSA shows new model year vehicles are safer, resulting in fewer deaths and injuries when involved in accidents, as compared to older models. Therefore, the Administration is focused on correcting the current standards that restrict the American people from being able to afford newer vehicles with more advanced safety features, better fuel economy, and associated environmental benefits.

Details on the SAFE Vehicles Rule can be found at NHTSA’s website here and EPA’s website here.

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