EPA Adopts Smarter Emissions Testing

In a previous post, I laid out the essentials of the recent Volkswagen emissions test-dodging scandal. Since then the fallout has continued, including public statements from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding future testing and oversight methodologies. From now on the EPA will be bringing down the hammer with unpredictable spot-checks on vehicles across all fuel-segments (e.g. gas, hybrid, electric).

Volkswagen Emissions

Janet McCabe, an EPA assistant administrator, has said that the EPA is “becoming the unpredictable EPA” (Detroit News). The EPA is “upping [its] game” and its new standard is to test “a range of vehicles with a range of configurations and situations.”

It seems ridiculous that such an intuitively effective testing procedure is adopted only as late as 2015; at the same time, better late than never. Additionally, as is the general course with the advent of strengthened regulatory procedures, we may expect the EPA to receive pressure from various vested interests to relax these new thorough testing methods. It is important – for the sake of air quality, the health of the environment which we all inhabit – to ensure the EPA upholds its new commitment to smarter testing.

Want to make sure the EPA sticks with its new testing and quality-assurance enthusiasm? Call on your nearest EPA office and tell them you approve of thorough, spot-check testing — here is a map of all EPA offices around the USA, with contact info.

For those outside the USA – call on the agency regulating vehicular emissions in your country to follow the EPA’s example and step up testing quality.

And, for the aspiring whistleblowers out there — here is a process to report suspected violations of EPA laws/regulations.