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A Green Light for Clean Vehicle Labels

California

June 27, 2001|JOHN O'DELL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

In a bid to help car shoppers easily identify vehicles that meet California's "greenest" emissions standards, the South Coast Air Quality Management District is launching a program to provide highly visible "Clean Air Choice" labels at area new-vehicle dealerships.

The program, to be announced in Los Angeles this morning, will start in Los Angeles but is expected to expand into other Southern California counties in coming months, organizers said.

The Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Assn. is co-sponsoring the initial phase of the program.

The effort is the air district's first major consumer program since 1-800-CUT-SMOG, which provides telephone information about air-quality forecasts and encourages people to report suspected pollution violations.

"Purchasing a new vehicle is one of the most important environmental decisions that people make," said William Burke, the air district's chairman.

"By looking for the new 'Clean Air Choice' label, automobile buyers can rest assured that they will be doing their part to help clean the air."

Burke said that participating auto dealers will post the label on all new vehicles in their inventories that meet California's standards for certification as ultra-low emission, super-ultra-low emission or zero-emissions vehicles.

Because such certification depends on specific combinations of equipment, several vehicles in the same family might have different certification.

Honda makes some Accords with SULEV status and others that meet only ULEV standards.

The stickers will be displayed on passenger cars, sport-utility vehicles, minivans and pickups that have one of the three cleanest emissions ratings.

The air district says it will support the program with a series of radio spots starting July 2, will launch a Web site to explain the program (http://www.cleanairchoices.org) and provide participating dealers with labels and brochures explaining the program and listing all "Clean Air Choice" models.

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