Colorado Adopts California Air Quality Standards

Colorado has become the 13th state to embrace California’s air quality standards for light- and medium-duty vehicles.

The rules will take effect with the 2022 model year. Colorado joins a dozen other states and the District of Columbia in aligning with California’s determination to implement tougher emission rules for 2022 and beyond—even if federal standards are frozen in 2020, as the Trump administration intends to do.

Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission estimates that enforcing California’s rules will lower annual carbon dioxide emissions in the state by nearly 2 million tons by 2030. The state’s auto dealer association says the standards will hike average new-vehicle prices by $2,100.

California has been allowed since 1970 to set its own air quality standards. Its rules and those of the federal government have aligned since 2010. Carmakers have been urging state and federal regulators to agree on a common strategy to avert turning the U.S. into a dual-standard market again.