Holmes (301) 443-1677
(Home) (301) 593-6495
Hardesty (301) 443-1663
(Home) (301) 654-0231
FOR RELEASE AFTER 9:30 A.M., MAY 6, 1971
May 6 - 7, 1971
Last week the Environmental Protection Agency announced national
standards for six air pollutants. These six pollutants are the most
widely present contaminants in our air today. They already are
present in amounts which create a danger to public health. Emissions
of these pollutants into the air must be controlled.
Of these six pollutants, four cannot be effectively controlled
except by controlling emissions from automobiles. That is why we" are
here today. Unless we can control the automobile^to the levels
prescribed by Congress in the Clean Air Act, as amended in 1970, the
automobile is and will remain a major threat to our public health.
I cannot therefore overstate the importance of the effort that
we are here to discuss and consider. The announced topic is: What
is being done to control emissions from automobiles? What can and
should be done? Our witnesses will include all of the major
domestic and foreign manufacturers of automobiles sold in the United

States. We will also hear from other industries with major stakes
in this effort. We will hear from representatives of the academic
world, from representatives of public interest organizations, from
representatives of private research and engineering firms which have
been active in attempting to design automobile engines with a potential
for extremely low emissions, from suppliers of material and devices
that may be important in mass producing low emission cars, and from
other interested and informed groups. The effort to produce an
essentially pollution-free car is and must be a joint undertaking in
which all segments of our society participate. The responsibility
of the Environmental Protection Agency is to insure that the effort
is successful and that the public is fully informed.
Before we begin with this morning's presentations, I want to
emphasize two points that are central to the exercise of the regula-
tory authority that Congress has given us under the provisions of the
Clean Air Act relating to automotive emissions. Both points are
directly pertinent to the topic of this hearing.
As all of you are aware, the Clean Air Act itself prescribes
emission standards which become effective with the model years 1975
and 1976. These standards require a 90% reduction in emissions of
carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, as compared with
1970 and 1971 cars. No one disputes that these are tough standards.
Congress clearly believed that achievement by the latter half of
this decade of these low levels of automobile emissions is so vital
to improvement of the nation's air quality that it wrote these
standards into positive law.

Congress' intent is unmistakably clean. The need for successful
control of automobile emissions is an overriding national priority.
Competing considerations having to do with our widely-shared desire
for maximum transportation convenience, at the lowest possible cost,
are important to all of us. But these competing considerations
cannot be permitted to frustrate our efforts to attain and maintain
a healthy environment.
My first point, then, is to emphasize that the law itself
does not permit traditional conceptions of satisfactory vehicle
driving performance to stand in the way of whatever changes in
vehicle design and power system are needed to control emissions.
The same is true with regard to vehicle cost. This hearing is part
of a continuing effort by the Environmental Protection Agency to
find out just what sacrifices might be needed, in cost, in fuel
economy, in power, in acceleration, and in other historic yard-
sticks of vehicle performance, to produce an automobile that we can
live with as a people.
The low-emission car of the future may be a more expensive car.
It may not equal today's car in road performance. But this is a price
that may be necessary if we are to have and preserve a healthy
environment for ourselves and our families.
As a consequence, we cannot and will not accept anything less
than a wide open research and development effort to meet the Act's
requirements. We will not, for example, find acceptable a manu-
facturer's decision not to explore innovative designs or power

systems on the ground that a vehicle so designed or so powered
would be more costly or would not meet traditional performance
criteria. We must develop and apply whatever technology is needed
to achieve the degree of emission control required by the Act, and
we must be willing to accept any necessary sacrifices in other areas
of vehicle performance.
My second point is related to the first and has to do with
the specific power conferred upon me by the Clean Air Act to suspend
the effective date of an emission standard for one year. Exercise
of this power is carefully circumscribed by law* I am required to
make a determination relating to good faith, and two separate deter-
minations concerning the technological feasibility of meeting the
statutory standards.
I have given serious consideration to the proper construction
of the statutory provision for suspension. It is my present judge-
ment that the required determinations relating to technological
feasibility do not permit me to suspend an emission standard in
favor of a single applicant or group of applicants, if technical
knowledge exists, in the industry or elsewhere, which would enable
any member of the industry to mass produce a light duty motor
vehicle in compliance with the Act.
It is important that all of the implications of this construction
of the law be well understood at the earliest possible time. It
means that if any member of the industry could meet the Act's dead-
lines for compliance, all applications for a suspension will be denied*