Fourteen US states currently enforce their own vehicle emissions standards, stricter than those set by the federal government. In 2019, Minnesota announced plans to join them. Now an administrative law judge has approved the proposed policy, ruling that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) can move forward with plans to adopt the Clean Cars Minnesota program. The program will go into effect after additional procedural steps.
The recent ruling follows a move by the EPA to reassert the authority of states to enforce their own emissions standards, reversing efforts by the prior administration to take away this long-held states’ right.
The adoption of the program is a major win for Governor Tim Walz, who expects the new standards to give a boost to the EV market in Minnesota.
Simon Mui, a Deputy Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, calls the Clean Cars Minnesota program a triple win for the state’s economy, public health and the environment.
The NRDC estimates that the new standards could save the average Minnesota car owner as much as $1,600 over the life of a vehicle, reduce air pollutants by millions of tons annually, and deliver hundreds of millions in fuel-related savings to the state.