Regulations - Americas

Gasoline Engine Regulations

Are you meeting EPA and CARB gasoline (light duty vehicle) regulations?

The U.S. Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1970. This required a 90% reduction in emissions from new automobiles by 1975 and resulted in the introduction of the first generation catalytic converter.

The regulations controlling auto emissions in countries throughout the world have become increasingly restrictive, and will continue to tighten in the future. In the United States, emissions standards are managed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The state of California has special dispensation to promulgate more stringent vehicle emissions standards, and other states may choose to follow either the national or California standards.

Although control measures have reduced pollutant emissions per vehicle over the past 40 years, the number of cars and trucks on the road and the miles they are driven have increased significantly in the U.S. According to the EPA, the total vehicle miles people travel in the U.S. increased 178% between 1970 and 2005 and continues to increase. In the U.S., there are more than 210 million cars and light duty trucks on the road.

As emissions standards have progressed, light duty vehicle manufacturers have moved to increasingly more advanced emission control technologies. Industry standards call for three-way catalytic converters that allow for simultaneous conversion of the three criteria pollutants: hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx).

In late 1998, to address light duty vehicle emissions, CARB adopted the Low Emission Vehicle II, or LEV II, program, which was followed by the EPA's Tier 2 program. In 2014, the EPA finalized new Tier 3 standards to be phased in between 2017 and 2025.

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To learn more about meeting EPA and CARB emissions standards, click here.