The Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) said Saturday it will appeal a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, which held that the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has independent authority to ban and otherwise regulate the purchasing and leasing of new vehicles by fleet operators. EMA contends that such regulations violate the federal Clean Air Act and is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief.
Jed Mandel, EMA general counsel, said EMA has issues with two key elements of the court's decision. Mandel says the EMA disputes the court's reasoning that prohibiting the purchase of certain engines or vehicles is different from prohibiting their sale.
“By regulating which new engines or vehicles customers can purchase, SCAQMD has in fact banned the purchase and sale of specific engine technologies – regardless of how low their emissions levels are,” Mandel said. “That ban is in direct violation of the federal Clean Air Act.”
Mandel added that the court’s decision could allow each locality across the country to establish its own separate emissions and purchasing requirements, forcing engine manufacturers to build engines in compliance with a “chaotic patchwork of multiple standards.
"In sum, the ruling is logically inconsistent and at odds with both the letter and spirit of the Clean Air Act,” Mandel said.