This week, EPA finalized its Tier 3 emission standards designed to reduce air pollution from passenger cars and trucks. The rule establishes new vehicle emissions standards and reduces the sulfur content of gasoline by two-thirds, with an implementation date of 2017. According to EPA, the new standards will help to reduce tailpipe and evaporative emissions from passenger cars, light-duty trucks, medium-duty passenger vehicles and some heavy-duty vehicles. The gasoline sulfur standard in particular will make emission control systems more effective for both existing and new vehicles, and will enable manufacturers to meet the more stringent vehicle emissions standards, since removing sulfur allows the vehicle’s catalyst to work more efficiently. The EPA says that the more stringent tailpipe emission standards and reduced sulfur content may serve to assist states in attaining their National Ambient Air Quality Standards under the Clean Air Act, while also saving lives and protecting the health of millions of Americans whose exposure to these and other pollutants have been linked to lung disease and asthma.

A copy of the finalized rule is available at: