A new US federal law requiring cars to be equipped with pollution sensors is a step toward reducing pollution, but it will not solve the problem of pollution from vehicles, according to environmental advocates.
Key points:EPA said it will spend $1.1 billion over three years on improving pollution sensors in US vehicles to improve pollution reportingThe goal is to install more than 4,000 pollution sensors and monitor traffic and emissionsThe bill would require new cars to meet new pollution standards by 2020, but not before 2020 EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said on Friday the agency will spend up to $1 billion a year over the next three years to improve air pollution sensors on cars and light trucks.
The goal of the legislation is to improve the quality of air quality in the United States, he said.
The bill, which was introduced by Representative Zoe Lofgren, D-California, and co-sponsored by Senators Maria Cantwell, D.C., and Tammy Baldwin, D, Wisconsin, was introduced in February.
Pruitt said the goal is for every car sold in the country to have an air quality monitoring device installed in 2020.
He said there are currently more than 9.4 million vehicles in the US, but the amount of pollution they produce is expected to increase because of the growth in auto sales.
“The problem with pollution is it’s not just cars, it’s all vehicles,” Pruitt said.
“We need to get that level of pollution down as much as we can.”
The EPA estimates that there are about 3.7 billion vehicles on the road in the U.S. and about 2.7 trillion pounds of carbon dioxide emitted each year.
It said it has identified 4.4 billion vehicles that are potentially at risk from pollution.
According to EPA data, the U and U.K. have the highest rates of vehicle emissions of any two countries, at about 6.1 million pounds per year.
The United States has the highest rate at about 2 million pounds a year.
Pursuing an emissions-reduction plan to cut pollution from automobiles will not be easy, as cars are made by a variety of companies.
But Pruitt said the bill is an important first step to addressing the issue of pollution.
“It’s a very small step that we can take and it’s a step we can get going in the right direction,” he said at a White House press briefing.
“This bill will allow us to begin to build upon the progress we’ve made and will allow states to begin the process of making improvements in their laws to reduce emissions and to encourage the construction of new cars.”
The legislation requires the EPA to develop regulations to establish standards for vehicle pollution, which will be based on emissions and other factors.
The legislation also requires states to adopt emission standards and standards for vehicles manufactured in the states that have enacted them.
In California, the law also requires automakers to install emission monitoring devices, which can detect pollution levels and report the results to local regulators.EPA Administrator Scott White said at the press briefing that the goal of installing more than 1,000 emissions monitoring devices in vehicles would require approximately 1.5 million cars in the state, but he did not say how many vehicles would be needed.
The agency will require the vehicle manufacturers to install the sensors by 2020.
Pruitt said he believes this will be a reasonable and cost-effective goal for the agency.
“You can go ahead and put your cars on the highway,” Pruitt told reporters.
“We want to reduce our emissions as much in the next two years as we possibly can.”
California already requires emissions controls in the vehicles of all types, including cars and vans.
In recent years, many California cities have enacted new pollution controls, and Pruitt said that will continue.
The federal government’s goal is not to completely eliminate the need for cars to use electric power, Pruitt said, but to ensure that emissions from vehicles are reduced.
California already has about 4 million vehicles on its roads, but Pruitt said emissions from those vehicles have increased because of growth in the industry.
The California legislature passed legislation in 2013 that required automakers to adopt a fleetwide emissions control program, known as a cap-and-trade program, which allows automakers to capture and store the pollution from their vehicles and sell them to the state.
The California Senate also passed a cap and trade bill in 2015.
A bill introduced in May by California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Colon, D–Los Angeles, would require California to enact a cap on greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and a statewide cap on emissions by 2025.
California’s cap-on-gas program has met with resistance from some automakers.
Volkswagen Group of America has said it opposes California’s cap.