Law & Order

TELL CONGRESS TO SUPPORT TOUGH YET ACHIEVABLE FUEL-ECONOMY STANDARDS

The U.S. Senate approved sweeping energy legislation last June that includes a provision to dramatically increase the CAFE standards for both cars and light trucks. It would require a combined CAFE average of 35 mpg by 2020, a 40% increase from today’s standards. The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of an energy bill last August, but House lawmakers put off a decision on how high to boost CAFE standards for automobiles.

CALIFORNIA SUES EPA OVER GREENHOUSE GAS WAIVER REQUEST

California filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to act on the state’s tailpipe emissions waiver request. Earlier this year, Governor Schwarzenegger notified the federal government that a lawsuit would be filed if the EPA continued to delay action on California's request for authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions for cars and light trucks sold in the state.

MASSACHUSETTS COMMITTEE PASSES SEMA-MODEL STREET-ROD/CUSTOM VEHICLE LEGISLATION

SEMA-model legislation to create a vehicle registration classification for street rods and custom vehicles and provide for special license plates for these vehicles was approved by the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Transportation Committee. The chairman of the committee indicated that the bill will be fast-tracked through the process.

SEMA RECOMMENDS REALISTIC EPA RULE WHEN SPRAYING WITH METALLIC PAINTS

Working with member companies and several other trade associations, SEMA submitted extensive comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule to regulate certain paint-surface coating operations at the local level. In general, SEMA and the other association’s support the rule, in which the EPA backed away from regulating paints that contain heavy metals (hazardous air pollutants or HAP) at the retail level.

FEDS TELL YOU HOW TO HONK

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a proposed rule to clarify that no horn marking is required unless the horn control is situated in a location other than in the middle of the steering wheel. In this case, the location would need to be identified with a specified horn symbol in a color that stands out clearly against the background.

MERCURY USED IN AUTO SWITCHES SUBJECT TO NEW REGULATION

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will now require at least 90 days advance notice from anybody who intends to manufacture, import or process mercury for use in aftermarket auto products. While the automakers are now using chemical substitutes, mercury is still found in some switches for aftermarket products, such as lighting equipment and antilock braking systems. The mercury can be subsequently released into the environment as the vehicle and its parts are dismantled, recycled and scrapped. The EPA rule applies to elemental mercury in the following uses:

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