Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass'n of U.S., Inc. v. New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Nos. 1056

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
Writing for the CourtCARDAMONE
Citation17 F.3d 521
Parties, 24 Envtl. L. Rep. 20,552 MOTOR VEHICLE MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES, INC., Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, Inc., Plaintiffs-Appellants-Cross-Appellees, v. NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, Thomas C. Jorling, Commissioner of Environmental Conservation of the State of New York, Defendants-Appellees-Cross-Appellants, Environmental Defense Fund, Inc., NYS Electric & Gas Corporation, Intervenors-Defendants-Appellees-Cross-Appellants, American Petroleum Institute, Intervenor-Defendant-Appellee. ocket 93-7938, 93-7974.
Decision Date09 December 1993
Docket Number1058,Nos. 1056,D

Page 521

17 F.3d 521
62 USLW 2531, 24 Envtl. L. Rep. 20,552
MOTOR VEHICLE MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED
STATES, INC., Association of International
Automobile Manufacturers, Inc.,
Plaintiffs-Appellants-Cross-Appellees,
v.
NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION,
Thomas C. Jorling, Commissioner of Environmental
Conservation of the State of New York,
Defendants-Appellees-Cross-Appellants,
Environmental Defense Fund, Inc., NYS Electric & Gas
Corporation,
Intervenors-Defendants-Appellees-Cross-Appellants,
American Petroleum Institute, Intervenor-Defendant-Appellee.
Nos. 1056, 1058, Docket 93-7938, 93-7974.
United States Court of Appeals,
Second Circuit.
Dec. 9, 1993.
Decided Feb. 9, 1994.

Page 523

Edward Warren, Washington, D.C. (Daniel F. Attridge, Stuart A.C. Drake, Gary E. Marchant, Kirkland & Ellis, Washington, D.C.; Phillip D. Brady, V. Mark Slywynsky, American Automobile Manufacturers Association, Detroit, Michigan; Charles H. Lockwood, John T. Whatley, Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, Inc., Rosslyn, Virginia; all of counsel), for appellants.

Joan Leary Matthews, Assistant Attorney General, State of New York, Albany, New York (Robert Abrams, Attorney General of the State of New York, Peter H. Schiff, Deputy Solicitor General, Val Washington, Helene G. Goldberger, Assistant Attorneys General, Albany, New York; James T.B. Tripp, Paul Miller, Environmental Defense Fund, Inc., New York, New York; John D. Draghi, Seth A. Davis, Michael G. Psareas, Huber, Lawrence & Abell, New York, New York; William H. Lewis, Jr., Hunter L. Prillaman, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Washington, D.C.; G. Kimball Williams, Jeffrey T. Culkin, McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams, P.C., Albany, New York; G. William Frick, David T. Deal, American Petroleum Institute, Washington, D.C.; all of counsel), for appellees.

Lois J. Schiffer, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (David C. Shilton, Timothy J. Dowling, Attorneys, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.; Jean C. Nelson, General Counsel, Alan W. Eckert, Associate General Counsel, Keven W. McLean, Attorney, Office of General Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.; all of counsel), filed a brief for the United States as Amicus Curiae.

Fred Devesa, Acting Attorney General of New Jersey, Trenton, New Jersey (Mary C. Jacobson, Assistant Attorney General, Howard Geduldig, Deputy Attorney General, Trenton, New Jersey; Scott Harshbarger, Attorney General of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts; all of counsel), filed a brief for the Attorneys General of New Jersey and Massachusetts as Amici Curiae.

Robert J. Grey, General Counsel, Long Island Lighting Company, Hicksville, New York (Mindy S. Novick, Elisa M. Pugliese, Hicksville, New York, of counsel), filed a brief for Long Island Lighting Company as Amicus Curiae.

John D. Dingell, Member of Congress, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. (David B. Finnegan, Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., of counsel), filed a brief for the Honorable John D. Dingell, Member of Congress, as Amicus Curiae.

O. Peter Sherwood, Corporation Counsel of the City of New York (Leonard Koerner, Appeals Division, Elizabeth St. Clair, Marjorie Fox, Environmental Law Division, Corporation Counsel of the City of New York; New York, New York, of counsel), filed a brief for the City of New York as Amicus Curiae.

Jacqueline M. Warren, Berle, Kass & Case, New York, New York, filed a brief for American Lung Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, and League of Women Voters of New York State as Amici Curiae.

Before: NEWMAN, Chief Judge, CARDAMONE and JACOBS, Circuit Judges.

CARDAMONE, Circuit Judge:

The plaintiffs associations of American and foreign automobile manufacturers contest on this appeal the legality of defendant New York State's newly adopted rules regulating automobile tailpipe emissions. The most controversial issues to be resolved are whether New York State, like California, will in the coming years have a fixed percentage of zero emission automobiles, most likely, electric cars, and whether New York State, unlike California, can adopt auto emission requirements

Page 524

without adopting clean fuel requirements.

The invention and proliferation of the automobile has been a mixed blessing: its advantages are obvious and need no chronicling; its disadvantages, most notably as a source of air pollution that threatens human health and well-being, have become more and more apparent. Automobiles are the primary agents of ground level ozone and carbon monoxide. Ground level ozone, a major component of the now familiar phenomenon of urban smog, inhibits the human immune system and damages otherwise healthy lung tissue. The State of New York estimates that ten million New Yorkers live in ozone nonattainment areas. Carbon monoxide, a killer poison that interferes with the transfer of oxygen to the blood stream, adversely affects the functions of the heart and brain.

In response to the serious public health problems caused by ozone and carbon monoxide and the enormous task of cleaning up the air we breathe, the federal government enacted the Clean Air Act, and New York State under that Act adopted California regulations that mandate low emission vehicles. New York's regulations fall heaviest on members of plaintiffs association, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, and numerous international auto manufacturers, such as Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo. These manufacturers challenge on this appeal New York's adoption of California's standards.

Plaintiffs, Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association of the United States, Inc. and Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, Inc. (collectively manufacturers) originally brought this action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York (McAvoy, C.J.) on July 9, 1992 against the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and its Commissioner, Thomas C. Jorling. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief against the Commissioner's implementation and enforcement of regulations pertaining to automotive tailpipe emission standards adopted by the DEC in 6 NYCRR Part 218 (1992) (Part 218 Regulations).

After the commencement of this action, the Environmental Defense Fund, Inc. and New York State Electric & Gas Corp. moved to intervene as defendants on all counts pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 24; the American Petroleum Institute moved to intervene as a plaintiff on one count, and as a defendant on two counts of the complaint. The Defense Fund's and State Electric & Gas' motions, were granted, as was the Petroleum Institute's insofar as it sought intervention as a defendant. On appeal, helpful amicus briefs have been filed on behalf of the United States; the Attorneys General of New Jersey and Massachusetts; the City of New York; Congressman John D. Dingell; the American Lung Association, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the League of Women Voters of New York; and the Long Island Lighting Company.

BACKGROUND

Developments Leading up to the Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act (Act), 42 U.S.C. Secs. 7401-7671q (1988 & Supp. III 1991), is one of the most comprehensive pieces of legislation in our nation's history. In order to better understand the issues it is helpful to trace briefly the development of that Act.

The original Clean Air Act, enacted by Congress in 1955, was aimed primarily at increasing federal research and assistance in air pollution prevention. It made no provision for federal motor vehicle emission standards. See Air Pollution Control-Research and Technical Assistance Act of 1955, Pub.L. No. 84-159, 69 Stat. 322. Because the several states had begun to adopt their own motor vehicle emission standards, the Senate Committee on Public Works, after noting that California was the leader in regulating automotive pollutant emissions, decided that national standards were to be preferred over having each state go its own way, "which could result in chaos insofar as manufacturers, dealers, and users are concerned." S.Rep. No. 192, 89th Cong., 1st Sess. 5-6 (1965). As a result, the Committee proposed and Congress enacted in 1965 emission standards for new motor vehicle engines. See Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act of

Page 525

1965, Pub.L. No. 89-272, Sec. 202(a), 79 Stat. 992.

A number of states, in addition to California, nonetheless continued to develop separate emission programs. Congress thereupon promptly amended the Clean Air Act in 1967 to impose federal preemption over motor vehicle emission standards. See Air Quality Act of 1967, Pub.L. No. 90-148, Sec. 208, 81 Stat. 485. Over the adamant objection of the auto industry, which sought a single national standard to avoid undue economic strain for manufacturers, California was excepted from preemption as the only state regulating auto emissions "prior to March 30, 1966". Id. Sec. 208(b). The reason for this lone exception was because the Senate Committee on Public Works was persuaded by California's then Senator Murphy that his state's "unique problems and pioneering efforts" warranted a waiver from preemption. S.Rep. No. 403, 90th Cong., 1st Sess. 33 (1967).

Comprehensive revisions made to the Act in 1970 established national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) and required even more stringent uniform emission standards for new motor vehicles. See Clean Air Amendments of 1970, Pub.L. No. 91-604, Secs. 4, 6, 84 Stat. 1676. In further amendments to the Act in 1977, Sec. 209 (formerly Sec. 208) was amended to require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to consider California's standards as a package, so that California could seek a waiver from preemption if its standards "in the aggregate" protected public...

To continue reading

Request your trial
53 practice notes
  • In re Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (“MTBE”) Prods. Liab. Litig., Docket Nos. 10–4135–cv, 10–4329–cv.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • July 26, 2013
    ...programs.” 42 U.S.C. § 7401(b). See generally Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass'n of U.S., Inc. v. New York State Dep't of Envtl. Conservation, 17 F.3d 521, 524–28 (2d Cir.1994) (tracing development of Clean Air Act). In 1990, Congress amended the Clean Air Act to establish the Reformulated Gasoline ......
  • Green Mountain Chrysler Plymouth Dodge v. Crombie, No. 2:05-CV-302.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. District of Vermont
    • September 12, 2007
    ...No. 89-272, 79 Stat. 992 (1965); see Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass'n of the United States, Inc. v. N. Y. State Dep't of Envtl. Conservation, 17 F.3d 521, 524-25 (2d Cir.1994) ("MVMA III"); Motor & Equip. Mfrs. Ass'n, Inc. v. EPA, 627 F.2d 1095, 1101 (D.C.Cir.1979) ("MEMA I"). The original enactme......
  • In re Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" Mktg., Sales Practices, & Prods. Liab. Litig., MDL No. 2672 CRB (JSC)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • August 31, 2017
    ..."), 88 F.3d 1075, 1079–80 (D.C. Cir. 1996) ; Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass'n of U.S., Inc. v. N.Y. State Dept. of Envtl. Conserv. ("MVMA "), 17 F.3d 521, 525–27 (2d Cir. 1994). The California Air Resources Board (CARB) runs that certification program, which is materially similar to EPA's. See MVM......
  • Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Goldstene, Case Nos. CV–F–09–2234 LJO GSA, CV–F–10–163 LJO DLB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • December 29, 2011
    ...In addition, California was a leader in prohibiting lead in gasoline. See Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass'n v. N.Y. Dep't of Envtl. Conservation, 17 F.3d 521, 529 (2d Cir.1994). California's Phase 2 reformulated gasoline regulations set standards for eight gasoline specifications: sulfur, benzene, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
47 cases
  • In re Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (“MTBE”) Prods. Liab. Litig., Docket Nos. 10–4135–cv, 10–4329–cv.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • July 26, 2013
    ...programs.” 42 U.S.C. § 7401(b). See generally Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass'n of U.S., Inc. v. New York State Dep't of Envtl. Conservation, 17 F.3d 521, 524–28 (2d Cir.1994) (tracing development of Clean Air Act). In 1990, Congress amended the Clean Air Act to establish the Reformulated Gasoline ......
  • Green Mountain Chrysler Plymouth Dodge v. Crombie, No. 2:05-CV-302.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. District of Vermont
    • September 12, 2007
    ...No. 89-272, 79 Stat. 992 (1965); see Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass'n of the United States, Inc. v. N. Y. State Dep't of Envtl. Conservation, 17 F.3d 521, 524-25 (2d Cir.1994) ("MVMA III"); Motor & Equip. Mfrs. Ass'n, Inc. v. EPA, 627 F.2d 1095, 1101 (D.C.Cir.1979) ("MEMA I"). The original enactme......
  • In re Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" Mktg., Sales Practices, & Prods. Liab. Litig., MDL No. 2672 CRB (JSC)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • August 31, 2017
    ..."), 88 F.3d 1075, 1079–80 (D.C. Cir. 1996) ; Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass'n of U.S., Inc. v. N.Y. State Dept. of Envtl. Conserv. ("MVMA "), 17 F.3d 521, 525–27 (2d Cir. 1994). The California Air Resources Board (CARB) runs that certification program, which is materially similar to EPA's. See MVM......
  • Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Goldstene, Case Nos. CV–F–09–2234 LJO GSA, CV–F–10–163 LJO DLB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • December 29, 2011
    ...In addition, California was a leader in prohibiting lead in gasoline. See Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass'n v. N.Y. Dep't of Envtl. Conservation, 17 F.3d 521, 529 (2d Cir.1994). California's Phase 2 reformulated gasoline regulations set standards for eight gasoline specifications: sulfur, benzene, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
3 books & journal articles
  • Mobile Source Air Pollution Control
    • United States
    • Air pollution control and climate change mitigation law
    • August 18, 2010
    ...Tier I standards applicable to light-duty vehicles (LDVs); 492. Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass’n v. New York Dep’t Envtl. Conservation, 17 F.3d 521, 534 (2d. Cir. 1994) ( citing Ford Motor co. v. EPA , 606 F.2d 1293, 1297 (D.C. Cir. 1979)). 493. Allway Taxi, Inc. v. City of New York, 340 F. Supp. ......
  • State Authority to Regulate Mobile Source Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Part 1: History and Current Challenge
    • United States
    • Environmental Law Reporter Nbr. 49-11, November 2019
    • November 1, 2019
    ...9 ELR 20581 (D.C. Cir. 1979); Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass’n of the United States, Inc. v. New York State Dep’t of Envtl. Conservation, 17 F.3d 521, 525, 24 ELR 20552 (2d Cir. 1994). 26. Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), Pub. L. No. 94-163, 89 Stat. 871 (1975), available at https://www.......
  • The Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives
    • United States
    • Air pollution control and climate change mitigation law
    • August 18, 2010
    ...2 Each of these alternatives has advantages 1. See, e.g ., Motor Vehicles Mfrs. Ass’n v. New York State Dep’t of Envtl. Conservation, 17 F.3d 521, 24 ELR 20552 (2d Cir. 1994), in which the automotive industry argued that if states other than California were to impose California standards, t......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT