The state of Pennsylvania’s Clean Vehicles Program, originally adopted in 1998, will be tightened under a new plan issued by the Environmental Quality Board (EQB), an independent regulatory review panel, and endorsed by Gov. Edward Rendell

The new plan locks in model-year 2008 as the compliance date for the next phase of the state’s Clean Vehicle Program, setting lower emission standards for new passenger cars and light-duty trucks in Pennsylvania, beyond federal requirements.

“Air quality is improving in Pennsylvania, but we need to do more to protect public health and the environment,” said Governor Rendell. “More than half our commonwealth fails to meet federal air quality requirements for smog. If we want to remain competitive and keep our economy growing, we need to find a way to reduce emissions from mobile sources, which remain a significant contributor to air pollution.”

He said Pennsylvania’s revamped Clean Vehicles Program should cut as much as 12% in volatile organic compounds and 9% in NOx emissions over the less stringent federal standards, and result in a 5% to 11% greater reduction of six toxic air pollutants, including benzene, a known carcinogen.

For more information, visit Pennsylvania’s department of environmental protection web site at www.depweb.state.pa.us