NHTSA Issues Environmental Assessment on FMVSS 141

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced the availability of a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of a proposed rule establishing a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) setting minimum sound requirements for hybrid and electric vehicles.

Comments must be received on or before March 15.

The Draft EA is being issued together with the agency's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for FMVSS No.141, Minimum Sound Requirements for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles. The proposal would require hybrid and electric passenger cars, light trucks, medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses, low-speed vehicles, and motorcycles to meet certain minimum sound requirements and would apply to electric vehicles and to those hybrid vehicles that are capable of propulsion in any forward or reverse gear without operation of the vehicle's internal combustion engine.

On July 12, 2011, the agency published a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment, which sought comment on the scope of the environmental analysis, the significant issues to be analyzed, and the nature of the analysis to be conducted. NHTSA received comments to the Notice of Intent from 35 individuals and organizations. NHTSA developed the alternatives analyzed in the Draft EA based on the comments received and further research and analysis conducted by the agency.

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