To improve the air, the California car may travel to Northeast

July 15, 1991|By New York Times

Representatives of 12 states -- including Maryland -- and the District of Columbia will meet tomorrow to consider adopting California's stringent rules requiring additional anti-pollution equipment for gasoline-powered cars and trucks.

Eight of the states are on record in favor of the change, and it is likely that at least some of the others will go along.

Proponents of the standards say they will result in cleaner air fromVirginia to Maine. As each state signs on, they contend, it cleans its own air and helps that of its neighbors.

"We're all part of an airshed," said Thomas C. Jorling, commissioner of environmental conservation for New York state. The more widespread the California car becomes, the better."

At a meeting in Boston, the Interstate Transport Commission will receive a report saying that adoption of the California rules would be animportant step toward meeting requirements of the Clean Air Act of 1990. The report was commissioned by a group called the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management. The transport commission, which was established under the Clean Air Act to deal with interstate pollution, has the authority to recommend changes to the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. The Northeast states group cannot compel its member states to take action.

The new rules would require extra devices on gasoline-powered vehicles, at a cost that California estimates at $170 or less per car but that auto makers say would be more.

Eventually it would require the introduction of substantial numbers of electric vehicles.

Those meeting tomorrow include the six New England states plus New York, New Jersey, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

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