This past Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its Tier 3 vehicle emissions standards intended to reduce the sulfur content in gasoline while issuing new tailpipe standards for nitrogen oxides and non-methane organic gases. If instituted, the proposed standards would be phased in beginning in 2017 and would harmonize the standards with what is currently required in California.

Supporters of the new standards point to the potential health and environmental benefits while creating standards that refiners and automobile manufacturers could strive to achieve across all 50 states. Opponents of the new rule question the actual benefits achieved by the lower standard and whether the costs to consumers and businesses are excessive. The proposed standards have been highly anticipated by both sides and will be the subject of much discussion on Capitol Hill, particularly since Gina McCarthy was just recently nominated to be next EPA administrator.

The EPA is accepting public comment on its proposal. Interested parties should take advantage of this opportunity to weigh in with the EPA.