EPA, DOT say California actions on auto emissions appear to be ‘unlawful’

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sign is seen on the podium at EPA headquarters in Washington, U.S., July 11, 2018. REUTERS/Ting Shen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top lawyers at the Environmental Protection Agency and Transportation Department told the California Air Resources Board Friday that the state’s actions in connection with a voluntary emissions deal with four automakers “appear to be unlawful and invalid.”

Ford Motor Co, Honda Motor Co, BMW AG and Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) in July agreed to adopt revised California vehicle emissions standards in exchange for some flexibilities offered by the state. The four automakers also agreed not to challenge the state’s legal authority.

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The letter — copies of which were sent to the automakers chief executives — said the automakers’ commitments “may result in legal consequences given the limits placed in federal law on California’s authority.” California did not immediately comment.

Reporting by David Shepardson

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