Following a two-day hearing and multiple public comment sessions, on May 5th, 2022, the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) voted to adopt New Motor Vehicle Emission Standards as Part 91, Chapter 2, Title 20 of the New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC), with a July 1, 2022, effective date. After the hybrid in-person and virtual joint hearing, the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board (AQCB) followed suit and adopted the nearly identical Clean Car Rule specific to the AQCB’s jurisdiction, NMAC 20.11.104 New Motor Vehicle Emission Standards.
The Clean Car Rule sets low-emission and zero-emission standards for new cars and trucks offered for sale in New Mexico, improving the air we breathe, giving consumers more choices, saving New Mexicans money, and protecting our environment. In addition to providing links to the newly adopted Clean Car Rule, this page describes the key milestones and procedural documents that led to its adoption.
Pollution from transportation accounts for a large portion of New Mexico’s greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to the state’s growing ozone problem. Seven New Mexico counties are nearing problematic ground-level ozone levels, which cause respiratory illnesses and heart attacks, and disproportionately affect the state’s most vulnerable populations. New vehicle standards can significantly improve air quality, including ground-level ozone levels, especially along heavily traveled urban corridors where traditionally disadvantaged populations disproportionately live and work.
In addition to the information below, the New Mexico Environment Department and the City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department prepared answers to Frequently Asked Questions (English FAQs) and Preguntas Frecuentes Sobre La Propuesta de Norma de Autos Limpios Para Nuevo Mexico (Spanish FAQs) on the Clean Car Rule.
Boards held joint hearing on the proposed Clean Car Rule
On May 4, and May 5, 2022, the EIB and the AQCB held a hybrid in-person and virtual joint hearing to consider the proposed Clean Car Rule, EIB 21-66 (R)- In the Matter of Proposed 20.2.91 NMAC – New Motor Vehicle Emissions Standards and AQCB Petition No. 2022-1: Petition to Repeal Existing Rule 20.11.104 NMAC, Emission Standards for New Motor Vehicles, and Adopt Proposed Replacement Rule 20.11.104 NMAC, New Motor Vehicle Emission Standards.
Individuals, businesses, organizations, and agencies provided comments during the joint hearing and submitted written comments to the EIB Board Administrator.
The Environmental Improvement Board and Albuquerque Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board approved petitions for a joint hearing on the proposed Clean Car Rule
On December 17, 2021, the Environmental Improvement Board proposed a joint hearing for the proposed New Motor Vehicle Emission Standards to begin Wednesday, May 4, 2022. The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board concurred on February 9, 2022, in response to the City of Albuquerque's petition. The proposed Clean Car Rule incorporates constructive feedback that NMED and the City of Albuquerque received during the informal comment period and will cover New Mexico statewide to meet the requirements of the federal Clean Air Act.
NMED received over 130 comments on the discussion draft Clean Cars Rule
The Department received and considered the comments submitted on the discussion draft Clean Car Standard Rule by auto dealers, automakers, the agriculture industry, community advocates, environmental groups, and over 120 individual New Mexicans. The majority of comments support the adoption of stricter tailpipe emission standards on new passenger cars and the requirement that automakers deliver a greater percentage of zero-emission passenger cars beginning in 2025.
NMED held the 3rd Clean Cars New Mexico public engagement meeting on November 3, 2021
During the third Clean Cars New Mexico public meeting on November 3, 2021, the NMED planning team presented the discussion draft Clean Cars Rules with their projected cost and emission benefits. View a copy of the presentation slides here. The public meeting recording can be accessed by clicking on the image below.
NMED held the 2nd Clean Cars New Mexico public engagement meeting on September 15, 2021
During the second Clean Cars New Mexico public meeting on September 15, 2021, the planning team described how the three parts of the proposed Clean Car Rule work together to reduce mobile source emissions from light and medium-duty vehicles and elaborated on the zero-emission vehicle requirements. View a copy of the presentation slides here. The public meeting recording can be accessed by clicking on the image below. Please note that we did not record the first few minutes of the meeting.
NMED held the Clean Cars New Mexico kickoff meeting on July 21, 2021
During the kickoff meeting on July 21, 2021, NMED and Albuquerque staff described how the proposed Clean Cars Rule works and presented the adoption timeline. View a copy of the presentation slides here. The public meeting recording can be accessed by clicking on the image below.
What is Clean Cars New Mexico all about?
Clean Cars New Mexico is about adopting stricter emission standards for new cars and trucks offered for sale in the state. The low-emission vehicle (LEV) standard requires car manufacturers to offer new passenger cars and trucks in New Mexico that produce fewer greenhouse gases and other harmful air pollutants than vehicles only subject to the federal standard. The zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) standard would require manufacturers to offer for sale a minimum number of new, low- and zero-tailpipe emission vehicles (battery-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicles) as a percentage of all new vehicles for sale in the state. While the standards are identical to those set by California, New Mexico has some flexibility in determining early action credits, proportional credits, adoption timeline, reporting, compliance, and enforcement. California’s LEV/ZEV regulations have been adopted in at least 14 other states and Washington D.C, including recently in Nevada, Minnesota, Virginia, and Washington.
Why is NMED working with the City of Albuquerque?
The Environmental Improvement Board regulations govern air quality throughout the non-tribal areas of the state except within Bernalillo County, which is the domain of the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board. To assure that the rule applies to the jurisdictions of both the EIB and of the AQCB and meets the identicality requirements of Section 177, the City of Albuquerque and NMED are partnering on these rules to clean up car tailpipe emissions for the air that all New Mexican’s breathe.. Find out more at the City’s Clean Cars Rule website.
Why is the state advancing Clean Cars New Mexico now?
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Climate Change Executive Order announced our state’s intent to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 45% by 2030. The order includes the Clean Cars New Mexico initiative to adopt low- and zero-emissions performance standards for passenger cars and trucks. After helping businesses keep employees safe during the COVID-19 pandemic and drafting the ozone precursor rule, NMED is ready to clean up emissions from passenger vehicles. This initiative is just one part of a broad program to reduce pollution across the transportation, energy, agricultural, industrial, and commercial sectors of our economy, which are outlined in the 2020 New Mexico Climate Strategy.