xvEPA
    United States         Office of Transportation                            EPA420-F-05-061
    Environmental Protection            K                                <-rm*.v
    Agency             and Air Quality                                 December 2005
                    Regulatory
                   Announcement
                   Final Rule for Emissions  Durability
                   Test Procedures
                   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is completing a
                   regulation that instructs automotive manufacturers how to conduct the
                   durability procedures used to predict the useful life emissions of new
                   vehicles. This rulemaking is in response to an October 22, 2002, United
                   States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decision that
                   ordered EPA to issue new emissions durability regulations.
                   Summary of the Final Rule
                   This final rule includes durability procedures applicable to light-duty
                   vehicles and trucks, and some heavy-duty vehicles. Manufacturers will
                   use these procedures to predict what the emission levels of new vehicles
                   will be at the end of their useful life period (e.g., 120,000 miles for Tier 2
                   light-duty vehicles). The rule also includes two prescribed test methods:
                   (1) the standard whole vehicle aging cycle, and (2) the standard bench
                   aging cycle. Manufacturers would use one of these cycles to age pre-
                   production vehicles to the equivalent of the useful life mileage. Test data
                   from this aging would then be used to project what the emission levels of
                   certification vehicles would be at their full useful lives. In addition, EPA
                   includes a provision to allow the use of customized or alternative cycles
                   with advance EPA approval.

                   This final rule affects the durability procedures of the new vehicle certi-
                   fication program. Other features of the certification program, such as the
                   reporting requirements and in-use verification testing are  unaffected.

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Key Elements of the Final Rule
   [Standard Road Cycle - a driving cycle used to operate a vehicle on
     a track or dynamometer for the mileage equivalent to the useful life
     period prescribed elsewhere by regulation.

   Standard Bench Cycle - a laboratory cycle used to rapidly age emis-
     sion components - primarily the catalytic converter and
     oxygen sensors - to the equivalent of the useful life period. This is
     done by exposing the components to extremely high temperatures.

   [Provisions for using customized or alternate procedures to those
     above. Advance EPA approval is required; the criteria are spelled
     out in the regulations.

   [Provisions for using the In-Use Verification Program (IUVP) test
     data to evaluate the effectiveness of the durability program. IUVP
     data is collected as part of the current certification regulations
     (known as "CAP 2000").
Background
EPAs regulations detail the process motor vehicle manufacturers must
follow to obtain EPA emissions certification, as required in the Clean
Air Act. In 2000, EPA issued a comprehensive update to the certification
regulations for light-duty vehicles and light-duty trucks. These certifica-
tion regulations are known as "CAP 2000" (Compliance Assurance Pro-
gram). They include detailed procedures on the selection of vehicles for
testing, specifications on the information that must be submitted to EPA,
and other requirements pertaining to reporting and testing.

Under CAP 2000, each manufacturer, except small volume manufactur-
ers, was required to develop an emission durability process which would
effectively predict the in-use deterioration of the vehicles they produce.
EPA advance approval was needed.

Afton Chemical Corporation (formerly known as Ethyl Corporation)
petitioned for review of the CAP 2000 rulemaking, claiming that CAP
2000 durability provisions were unlawful because EPA had not  estab-
lished methods and procedures for making tests by regulation as required
by Clean Air Act Section 206. In an opinion issued on October 22, 2002,
the Court found that CAP 2000 regulations were not consistent with Sec-
tion 206(d) of the Clean Air Act as they did not "establish methods and
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procedures for making tests" and remanded EPA to vacate those regula-
tions and issue new ones. Therefore, in this final rule, EPA is addressing
the mandate of the Court to establish such procedures.
For IVIore Information
You can access this rule and related documents on EPA's Office of Trans-
portation and Air Quality (OTAQ) Web site at:



For further information on this final rulemaking, please contact Line
Wehrly at:

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency D
    Office  of Transportation & Air Quality D
    2000 Traverwood Drive D
    Ann Arbor, MI 48105 D
    (734)214-452860
    E-mail: wehrly.linc@epa.govD
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