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ME DEP Rejects Request for Emissions Standards Exemption.

State officials in Maine recently reported that the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has opposed a petition brought to DEP's Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) last October requesting an exemption for diesel versions of the Volkswagen Beetle, Golf and Jetta from compliance with the state's newly adopted California vehicle emissions standards on the grounds that such vehicles are the only ones currently available in the U.S. capable of being fueled with biodiesel.

According to officials, the new standards would restrict the sale of these Volkswagen diesels, which exceed acceptable nitrogen oxide emissions levels under the new standards, starting with 2004 models.

Officials said although petitioner William Lord maintained that the Volkswagen diesels emit less greenhouse gas emissions than many other currently available vehicles even when operating on pure diesel fuel, the DEP ultimately opposed the petition because the federal Clean Air Act only allows the adoption of California standards by other states if they comply with them wholly.

"We don't believe it's appropriate to trade off pollutants," said DEP Bureau of Air Quality official Ron Severance.

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Title Annotation:Department of Environmental Protection, Maine
Publication:Mobile Emissions Today
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 6, 2004
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