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1. INTRODUCTION The Clean Air Amendments of 1970, which established exhaust emission standards for 1975 and 1976 light-duty vehicles (henceforth called vehicles) and light-duty vehicle engines, called on the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) "to enter into appropriate arrangements with the National Academy of Sciences (NAB) to conduct a comprehensive study and investigation of the tech- nological feasibility of meeting the emission standards" promulgated by the Clean Air Amendments. Meetings held between the NAS and EPA early in 1971 resulted in the establishment of a mutually agreeable work statement for the Committee on Motor Vehicle Emissions of the National Academy of Sciences. An extract from the work statement follows: Statement of Work The Contractor shall conduct a many-faceted study of the technological feasibility of meeting the motor vehicle emission standards prescribed by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, as required by Section 202(b) of the Clean Air Act, as amended. B. For the purposes of this s tudy the term " technological fees ibility" includes the ability within the automobile industry or elsewhere to 1. Design an engine, control system, or device capable of meeting the statutory emission standards using fuels which are or could be available Mass produce such an engine, control system, or device 3. Maintain such an engine, control system, or device so that it will continue to meet the statutory emission standards with safety for a period of five years or 50,000 miles of operation, whichever is shorter. - 6 —
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~- The study of technological feasibility as defined shall include a study emphasizing the technical aspects of the reported costs expected to be incurred in and the esti ma ted tame for the design, development, and mass production of an engine, control system, or device capable of meeting the statutory emission standards. The study of technological feasibility shall include a study emphasizing the technical aspects of the reported estimates of extra cost incurred in maintaining such an engine, control system, or device so that it will meet the statutory emission standards for a period of five years or 50,000 miles, whichever is shorter. E. Should the Contractor conclude that the attainment of emission standards on the schedule provided by Section 202(b)~1) of the Clean Air Act is not technologically feasible, the Contractor shall specifically determine technologically feasible interim emission levels to assist the Administrator in exercising his responsi- bilities under Section 202(b)~5) of the Act. 1.1 Past Work of the Committee on Motor Vehicle Emissions . Membership of the Committee, shown in Appendix A, was selected entirely by the National Academy of Sciences. The first meeting of the Committee took place on June 16, 1971, with subsequent meetings held approximately once each month. The Clean Air Amendments called for the Committee to submit semiannual progress reports to the Administrator and to Congress. One of the primary func- tions of such reports was to provide advice to the Administrator of EPA with respect to his decision whether or not to postpone for one year the applicable deadlines of the standards called for by the Clean Air Amendments. Under the legislation, anytime after January 1, 1972, any manufacturer may file with the Administrator an application requesting a one year suspension of the regulations applicable to emissions from 1975 model year vehicles. Anytime after January 1, 1973, any manu- facturer may file an application requesting a one year suspension of the regulations applicable to emissions from 1976 model year vehicles.
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The Administrator must make his determination of each request for sus- pension within 60 days. To provide maximum assistance to the Administrator in the formu- lation of his decision, and with due consideration of the timing re- quired for such a decision, the Committee issued its first substantive report on January 1, 1972, containing a comprehensive study of the technological feasibility of the standards applicable to 1975 model year vehicles. In April 1972, in response to a direct request from EPA, the Committee prepared a report with respect to possible interim standards, in the event the Administrator were to grant a suspension of the 1975 standards. A brief progress report was submitted July 1, 197 2, discussing the various areas of investigation of the Committee at that time. This report of the Committee emphas izes the ques Lion of techno- log~cal feasibility of the 1976 standards. In August 1972, the Administrator denied the requests of Volvo, International Harvester, Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors for a suspension of the 1975 standards. Requests for suspension of the 1975 standards may, however' be filed again by the above manufacturers or by others. A portion of this report is thus addressed to the technological feasibility of the 1975 standards. 1.2 Panels of Consultants The Corrunittee has recognized the importance of having available to it the most recent and complete technical data and information upon which to make its judgments. Much of the information has been pro- v~ded by eight panels of consultants, each panel dealing with a partic- ular subject area of importance in the Committee deliberations. Panel members were selected by the Committee on the basis of recognized com- petence in specific areas. Membership of the panels is shown in Appendix B. Seven of these panel s were in operation during 1971. The Catalyst Panel was added early in 1972 after the Committee became aware — 8 —
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of the many controversial and critical factors associated with the operational characteristics of the automotive catalyst. The work of each of the panels was as follows. 1.2.1 Testing, Inspection, and Maintenance The Panel on Testing, Inspection, and Maintenance was organized to assess the feasibility of ensuring that automobiles manufactured for 1975-1976 model years continue to meet the specified emission standards in actual customer use over the required period. The panel evaluated each method as a system, from certification testing through assembly- line control, surveillance, inspection, and maintenance in use. This study also considered the necessary training and licensing of mechanics, enforcement action required, short emission tests suitable for inspec- tion or diagnosis, surveillance testing, feasibility of required maintenance procedures, and costs of maintaining emission-control sys- tems for 1975-1976 vehicles. 1.2.2 Emission-Control Systems The Panel on Emission-Control Systems was to investigate the potential of experimental 1975-1976 emission-control systems, including consideration of the durability of these systems. The activities of this panel were restricted to studies of emission control for the spark- ignition internal-combustion engine including the Wankel and stratif~ed- charge types of engines. The use of different fuels, such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), as well as dual-fuel concepts were also evaluated. 1.2.3 Alternate Power~Sources This panel was responsible for evaluating all automobile power source concepts except the conventional Otto-cycle engine, the internal- combustion Wankel engine, and the stratified-charge engine. The panel thus considered diesel engines, Rankine-cycle engines, Brayton-cycle _ 9 _
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engines, Stirling engines, electric systems, hybrid systems, and several sys tems that fell into no broad category. The panel was to determine if it would be possible for any of the candidate engine systems to meet the 1975-1976 emission standards in production and the 50,000-mile (or five-year) life standard. For each promising system, the panel estimated the earliest possible date that mass production could be achieved. Major technical problem areas were identif fed for each system, and the probability of solving these problems was es timated. Acceptability of each system, to the customer and to the industry, was predicted by the panel on the basis of driveability, safety, s Carting characteris tics, maintainability, noise, cost, fuel economy, and many other factors. Some of these determinations were made in cooperation with other panels. 1. 2. 4 Manufacturing and Producib' lity This panel was concerned with the manufacturability of low- emission systems and their components. The effort was not limited to the technical possibility of building one or a few systems; the techno- logical feasibility of producing millions of systems in 1975 and 1976 was determined. This study included such cons iterations as producibility, tooling, lead time, and costs. The work of this panel was directed toward helping the Committee determine, as specified in paragraph B2 of the Statement of Work, whether, within the automobile industry or elsewhere, there was a capability to mass-produce an engine, control system, or device capable of meeting the emission standards. - 10 -
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1. 2.5 Driveability The mis s ion of this panel was to appraise the driveability of vehicles powered by candidate engine systems. Good driveabil ity is loosely defined as the ability of a vehicle to start, operate, and stop smoothly under all environmental and operating conditions, without stalls, surges, hesitations, after-firing, and other undesirable charac- teristics. There has been considerable testimony expressing opinions that some of the emission-control systems, especially if not properly main- tained, would seriously affect the safety of the car, not only relative to its occupants, but also relative to other vehicles in traffic. Thus, assessing driveability is an important aspect of determining the feasibility of using a given system or engine, The work of this panel was done in conjunction with that of the Panel on Emission-Control Systems. 1 2 6 Catalysts · — The COME organized this panel when it became apparent that the durability of many proposed emission-control systems is closely tied to catalyst performance. This panel analyzed activity and dura- bility of both oxidation and reduction catalysts for emission-control systems. The major causes of catalyst failure during vehicle operation were examined. The effect on catalyst deterioration of the level of poisons in gasoline such as lead, sulfur, and phosphorus was studied, as was the effect of over-temperature on catalyst activity. Availability of catalytic materials -and possible toxicity problems associated with the use of certain catalysts were also investigated. _ 11 -
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1.2.7 Emission Standards and Atmospheric Chemistry The work of the Panels on Emission Standards and Atmospheric Chemistry was associated with the requirement in the original work statement concerning recommendation by the Academy of technologically feasible interim emission levels. The major concern was with interim levels for the 1976 standards, in the event that achievement of such standards was to be delayed a year. For the 1976 standards, oxides of nitrogen (NOx) must be controlled in addition to hydrocarbons (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO), procedures that reduce NO do not necessarily reduce HO and CO, and may increase them. x There are many sets of technologically feasible levels of the three pollutants that the Committee might recommend. Thus, these two panels have studied the various possibilities and tradeoffs. The Panel on Atmospheric Chemistry determined, from the latest available data, the relationship between ambient concentrations of HO and NOx necessary to cause undesirable levels of oxidant production. The Pane! on Emission Standards used these data, along with desirable air-quality goals for CO and NOx, and developed corresponding motor vehicle emission levels. Each of the panels has devoted considerable time and effort to the work of the Committee. Some of the panel members have given virtu- ally full-time effort to Committee work. These panels have traveled extensively and probed deeply in their attempts to bring before the Committee the material and information needed for the Committee to reach the judgments called for in the legislation. Panel visits have been made to domestic and foreign automobile manufacturers, to domestic and foreign catalyst suppliers, to the EPA and other government labora- tories, to independent research laboratories, to state and local agencies concerned with the problems of enforcing emission standards, to those - 12 - 1
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carrying out research and development on many types of alternate power plants, to oil companies, and to many others. A list of companies and individuals visited or otherwise contacted by COME personnel is given in Appendix C. In each visit, panel members have endeavored to ensure the timeliness and validity of the data furnished to them. Panel visits have involved discussions with personnel ranging from top management to working technicians and engineers. The panels have reported periodically to the parent Committee on their progress. Close contact has been maintained between the panels and the Committee, to ensure that the panels were stressing the necessary topical areas in their investigations. Panel activities terminated with the submission of final written panel reports to the Committee. 1.3 Other Means of Obtaining Information The Committee has attempted to solicit pertinent information from the general public. Announcements have been placed in the Federal Register requesting information with respect to technological feasibility. Descriptions of these announcements are included as Appendix D. Finally, the Committee as a whole visited General Motors and Ford in Detroit on May 18 and 19, 1972, to get a first-hand view of the efforts of two of the larger manufacturers toward meeting the emission standards. Visits by selected members of the Committee were made to other manufacturers. The judgments of the Committee to be presented in this report necessarily rely upon the information received using the various sources mentioned above. The Committee believes that it has had presented to it sufficient information upon which to base its judgments.
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NOTE Final reports of the CMVE panels are being prepared as technical publications and will be made available to the public by the National Research Council. Other pertinent information will b maintained as a public record in the f iles of the COVE. - 14 -
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