Hearings Set on Automobile Pollution Control

[EPA press release - March 4, 1971]

William D. Ruckelshaus, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has asked U.S. and foreign automobile manufacturers, to show they are making every effort to meet automobile and pollution control requirements of the 1970 amendments to the Clean Air Act. He said the information they submit will be examined in public hearings beginning May 4, 1971.

Ruckelshaus, in letters to the companies, requested each of the auto manufacturers to appear at the hearing and to tell about their efforts to develop systems to reduce automobile emissions. Data obtained from the companies will be used in EPA's report to Congress on progress in meeting emission standards. The report is required under amendments to the Clean Air Act, which President Nixon signed on December 31, 1970.

The Act directs the Administrator of EPA to prescribe standards to reduce emissions of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons by 90 percent from 1970 model levels in the1975 model autos. Nitrogen oxides standards, reduced 90 percent from 1971-model levels, are to take effect in the 1976 model year. Should the firms ask for more time to meet the deadlines, and if they have made every effort to develop technology to meet them, the Administrator is authorized to extend the deadlines by one year in the public interest.

Ruckelshaus asked the companies to provide the following information by April 2, 1971:

A description of the basic techniques being explored to meet emission standards; an indication of the current stage of development and testing; each firm's assessment of prospects for perfecting each technique to the point at which it could be used on production line vehicles; a description of major problems which remain in perfecting techniques; and identification of all other companies participating in developing and testing each technique.

Further information requested by Ruckelshaus includes a summary of the resources, in dollars and professional-technical man-years, each company has applied during calendar year 1970 and expects to apply during calendar year 1971, or equivalent company fiscal years, in developing and testing each technique.

The EPA Administrator said each company should submit a prepared statement for the May 4 hearing, and other supporting material by April 16, 1971.

List of firms receiving the Ruckelshaus letter:

American Motors Corporation
Chrysler Corporation
Ford Motor Company
General Motors Corporation
International Harvester Company
Alfa Romeo, Inc.
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG
Lotus Cars Limited
British Leyland Motors, Inc.
Citroen Cars Corporation
Lincoln-Mercury Division (European Ford)
Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd.
Fiat S.p.A.
Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini
Morgan Motor Company, Ltd.
American Honda Motor Company, Inc.
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
Nissan Motor Corporation in U.S.A.
Peugeot, Inc.
Renault, Inc.
Rolls-Royce, Inc.
Saab-Scania of America
Volvo, Inc.
Toyota Motor Company, Ltd.
Officine Alfieri Maserati S.p.A.
Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Mercedes-Benz of North America, Inc.
Toyo Kogyo Company, Ltd.