Court: AQMD can enforce fleet rules against local, state governments

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled recently that, in light of a 2004 Supreme Court decision, the South Coast Air Quality Management District can enforce its so-called “fleet rules” against local and state governments on the grounds that the AQMD is acting on behalf of the state as a market participant.

However, the court, in its Aug. 20 ruling, left it to a federal district court to consider whether the fleet rules are preempted when they are applied to vehicle purchases made by other entities, such as private fleets and federal government entities.

The Engine Manufacturers Association, which brought the suit, said it will continue to pursue that issue before the district court.