Nevada may adopt California’s zero emissions rules for 2025 models

Aerial view of traffic on Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. (Photo: Nevada Department of Transportation)
Aerial view of traffic on Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. (Photo: Nevada Department of Transportation)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets auto emissions standards, but California has a waiver allowing the state to adopt more stringent standards, and the federal government allows other states to adopt California’s rules, so long as they’re identical.

More than a dozen states have done that, and Nevada might too.

The Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (NDEP) Monday announced a process to consider adopting rules that would effectively mandate increased low- and zero-emissions new car sales starting with 2025 models sold in 2024.

Not every car new car sold would emit zero greenhouse gases and ground-level pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and ozone. The proposed rules would “set minimum sales goals of electric vehicles as a percentage of all vehicles made available for sale in the Nevada market,” and the percentage would increase over time, according to information on NDEP’s “Clean Cars Nevada” website.

The proposed rules would apply to passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and “medium-duty vehicles up to 8,500 lbs.,” according to NDEP, and “work trucks powered by conventional gasoline and diesel engines will still be available for sale in Nevada.”

NDEP plans to hold several “outreach events” between now and next spring, “with additional formal opportunities for input later in 2021.”

The proposed regulations “will not require anyone to give up their current vehicle or choose one that does not work for their lifestyle or business needs,” Gov. Steve Sisolak’s office said in a statement announcing the new rulemaking process.

The statement from the governor’s office said new emission standards “will be tailored to Nevada’s needs through inclusion of robust stakeholder engagement,” adding that NDEP “will engage with stakeholders,” and “stakeholder input will inform the design of the proposed regulation in advance of its consideration by the State Environmental Commission and state Legislative Commission.”

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and author of the Las Vegas Gleaner political blog. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and editor at the Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune.