AGO 85-7.

Case Date:April 23, 1985
Colorado Attorney General Opinions 1985. AGO 85-7. April 23, 1985Department of Law Attorney General Opinion FORMAL OPINION of DUANE WOODARD Attorney General Opinion No. 85-7 AG Alpha No. HL CC AGANA Thomas M. Vernon, M.D. Executive Director Colorado Department of Health 4210 East Eleventh Avenue Denver, CO 80220 RE: Adoption and enforcement by Colorado of California diesel exhaust emissions standardsDear Dr. Vernon: I am writing in response to your request for a formal legal opinion regarding the authority of the Air Quality Control Commission ("the commission") to promulgate and enforce emissions standards for new diesel autombiles. QUESTIONS PRESENTED AND CONCLUSIONS Does the commission have authority under Colorado law to adopt diesel automobile exhaust emissions standards on a statewide basis? The commission has such authority under the Colorado Air Quality Control Act. Does the commission have authority under federal statutes to adopt the State of California standards applicable to emissions from new motor vehicles? Adoption of the California standards would be in conformance with the relevant federal statute, the Clean Air Act, provided two conditions were met. First, California would have had to obtain a waiver from the United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") of the Clean Air Act's general prohibition against adoption of new vehicle standards by the states. Second, the commission and California would have had to adopt the standards applicable to a given model year of vehicles at least two years before commencement of that model year. If the answer to question 2 is in the affirmative, can the commission adopt only the diesel emissions standards promulgated by California without adopting the California standards for other types of vehicles? The commission may adopt the California diesel standards without adopting the remainder of the California vehicle emission standards. Does the commission have the authority to enforce diesel exhaust standards on a statewide basis? The Air Quality Control Act assigns responsibility for enforcing the commission's regulations to the Air Pollution Control Division ("the division"). As already noted, the commission is empowered to adopt diesel exhaust standards which would be effective throughout Colorado. The division would have authority to enforce those...

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