Connecticut Low Emission Vehicles II

(LEV II) Program

{Clean Car}

The Connecticut Low Emission Vehicles II (LEV II) program requires that all new vehicles sold in Connecticut, beginning with model year 2008, meet strict California emission standards.  Motor vehicles certified to California emission standards meet more stringent standards for non-methane organic gases (NMOG), hydrocarbons (HC), nitrogen oxides (NOx); and carbon monoxide (CO), and undergo more extensive testing and quality control than vehicles certified to the federal standards. 

Mobile source pollution accounts for approximately fifty percent of all air pollution emitted in Connecticut and throughout the Northeast.  Implementation of the LEV II program will help meet health-based air pollution standards, achieve significant air quality benefits, and reduce people’s exposure to harmful air pollutants from motor vehicle exhaust.

  • During 100,000 miles of driving, a new 1965 car produced about a ton (i.e., 2,000 pounds) of smog-forming hydrocarbons.
  • LEV II will reduce hydrocarbon emissions, many of which are toxic, from the average new 2010 car to about 10 pounds per 100,000 miles of driving.

LEV II creates four new emission categories for vehicles:

LEV - Low Emission

ULEV - Ultra-Low Emission

SULEV - Super-Ultra-Low Emission

ZEV - Zero-Emission

  • SULEV's will emit a single pound of hydrocarbons during 100,000 miles of driving. 

Under CT State Law beginning with model year 2008:

  • Vehicle manufacturers must deliver new light-duty vehicles for sale into Connecticut that are certified to meet stricter California emissions standards.
  • Medium duty vehicles meeting the stricter California emission standards will also be required beginning with model year 2009.
  • Dealers in Connecticut are required to sell only California certified vehicles for Connecticut registration.
  • Unless the vehicle is California certified, it cannot be registered in Connecticut.
  • Connecticut is one of 14 states that have adopted the LEV II program.
  • This program helps CT meet health-based air pollution standards and achieve cleaner air.
A positive for consumers, the warranty of the pollution control system of the vehicle is extended to 120,000 miles and for some vehicles to 150,000 miles. Since pollution control systems break down over time, extending the warranty will help ensure these vehicles continue to meet emission standards as they get older.

What does LEV II apply to?

  • Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of up to 8,500 pounds will be subject to more stringent emission standards.
  • Vehicles with a GVWR of 8,501-14,000 pounds will also be held to more stringent emission standards.
  • The LEV II standards also include tightening of the fleet average standards requiring automakers to reduce fleet emission levels.

How will you know if a vehicle can be sold in Connecticut?

A Vehicle Emission Control Information Label is applied under the hood of every vehicle. On this label, you’ll find text indicating that the vehicle conforms to the California regulations. If the vehicle complies with California regulations it can be sold in Connecticut.


LEV II and Greenhouse Gases

Mobile sources are also a major source of greenhouse gases and Connecticut is involved in regional and national efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Therefore, Connecticut modified the LEV II program to adopt California’s tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions standards beginning with the 2009 model year. EPA granted the waiver of preemption for California’s program on June 30, 2009, and the Connecticut Greenhouse gas standards are effective and enforceable.


The federal Clean Air Act (CAA) requires the federal United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set nationwide emission standards; however the CAA limits a state’s ability to adopt its own motor vehicle emission standards.  Under the CAA, California is the only state allowed to adopt its own motor vehicle emission standards and the EPA must approve those standards by granting a waiver before California can enforce them.  Under section 177 of the CAA, a state may adopt motor vehicle emission standards that are different from federal standards only if those emission standards are identical to California standards for which a waiver has been granted.  Connecticut has adopted the California emission standards because they are more protective of public health and the environment than federal emission standards.


LEV II, in the final analysis, is about public health and will reduce the exposure to air pollutants of people in Connecticut.


Current Topics

Connecticut Low Emission Vehicle Amendments, Hearing Report dated December 8, 2008 (PDF)

LEVII Regulation (PDF)

Connecticut Low Emission Vehicle/Greenhouse Gas Standards, Hearing Report dated August 25, 2005 (PDF, 8.4mb)
Connecticut Low Emission Vehicle II Adoption, Hearing Report dated May 7, 2004 (PDF)


Related Links

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Content Last Updated on December 16, 2009