How are vehicle emissions regulations defined and enforced?
New government regulations are impacting engine designs and lubricant technologies. The new GF-5 specification will result in engine oils that support new engine designs in the reduction of exhaust gas emissions.
Vehicle emissions regulations are established by the EPA and are continuously updated to enhance the quality of the air we breathe. These Air Quality Standards cover both gaseous and particulate emissions. Examples of gaseous emissions would include hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide and oxides of nitrogen in the exhaust of gasoline engines.
Vehicle emission regulations, limits, and timing are set by both federal and state governments. Legislation is enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the federal and state levels. To ensure compliance, vehicles are tested annually. In some states, emissions testing is part of the vehicle licensing process. If a vehicle is noncompliant it cannot be licensed or driven legally until repaired.
It is expected that emissions requirements will become even more stringent. Emissions control is an international issue and most governments around the world have regulations in place.