WASHINGTON - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday, June 30, approved California's rules to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from cars and light trucks, according to the EPA. 

The decision, which reverses a Bush administration policy, grants California a long-sought waiver under the Clean Air Act to impose tailpipe emissions limits. 

"This decision puts the law and science first," EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said in a statement. "After review of the scientific findings, and another comprehensive round of public engagement, I have decided this is the appropriate course under the law." 

California's emissions rules, which begin applying with the sale of 2009 model year cars, also extend to other parts of the nation since 13 other states and the District of Columbia have adopted the California standard. In 2012, companies may comply with a national standard in place of the state standard. 

Back in May, President Barack Obama also ordered vehicle makers to increase mileage standards to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. The nationwide fuel-economy standards take effect beginning in 2012, through rules that will be finalized by the end of next March. Automakers had pushed for a national standard.