On Wednesday the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Joint Air Quality Program, which administers and enforces local air quality laws for the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County on behalf of the City’s Environmental Health Department, released a discussion draft of its Clean Cars rule for public review and comment. The rule was developed in tandem with the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED), which recently petitioned the State’s Environmental Improvement Board to adopt a similar rule.
If adopted, the Clean Cars rule will impose stricter emission standards for new motor vehicles sold in New Mexico beginning with the model year 2026. Cars are the second largest source of climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions in New Mexico. The rule would put stricter emission standards in place and improve air quality by reducing ground-level ozone and emissions of greenhouse gases and particulate matter.
“We know that the time to act on reducing ozone is now,” said Environmental Health Deputy Director Mara Elana Burstein. “This rulemaking makes a bold stride in our efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change and pollution, and protects public health.”
The Environmental Health Department in partnership with NMED, developed the clean cars rule over a period of eight months with extensive stakeholder engagement. Feedback was collected from auto dealers, auto makers, the agriculture industry, community advocates, environmental organizations, and over 100 individual New Mexicans. In addition to commenting on Clean Cars draft rules, members of the public and other interested persons will have additional opportunities to provide input during the formal rulemaking process.
Environmental Health will seek a joint hearing before the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board and the Environmental Improvement Board to consider the City and State’s proposed rules together, to ensure the standards are consistent statewide in accordance with federal requirements.
Comments on the draft rule will be accepted through 5 pm on Monday, January 10. Comments should be sent to Ken Miller, Air Quality Regulation Development Coordinator, at email@example.com. The discussion draft is available online here: https://www.cabq.gov/airquality/regulation-development/clean-cars-i-regulation-documents.