WASHINGTON-The states belonging to the Ozone Transport Commission are willing to listen to any constructive plan to cut air pollution in the Northeast. So said OTC Executive Director Bruce S. Carhart at a Feb. 16 dinner of the Washington Automotive Press Association.
But any plan the OTC might adopt must be at least as effective as the California low emission vehicle (LEV) plan the commission recommended to the Environmental Protection Agency, according to Mr. Carhart.
Auto makers have proposed a ``49-state'' alternative, offering a milder LEV program over a much larger area of the U.S. The EPA has expressed great interest in it.
Mr. Carhart said the OTC supports the 49-state concept, ``but we need to come to an agreement on the details.''
The OTC has been holding extensive talks with the auto industry on this issue, but in the meantime supports the rights of individual states to forge ahead on reducing ozone.
This could even include electric vehicles, Mr. Carhart said, although the OTC has never formal-ly recommended the LEVs. New York's and Massachusetts' ozone reduction plans call for the sale of electric vehicles, following California's lead.
Some auto parts makers and auto repairers have expressed concern about the OTC low emission vehicle plan, because it could require radical redesign of auto engines and new auto repair technologies.
Besides New York and Massachusetts, OTC members include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and the District of Columbia.