GASP Lauds EPA Proposal for Stronger Heavy-Duty Vehicle Standards to Promote Clean Air, Protect Comm
Updated: Sep 9, 2022
With all of the news surrounding an air quality-related enforcement order against U.S. Steel this week, GASP wanted to make sure a significant new proposal from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency didn’t get missed – because it’s a big deal.
Here’s what happened: Earlier this week, the EPA announced it is proposing new, stronger standards to promote clean air and reduce pollution from heavy-duty vehicles and engines starting in the model year 2027.
The proposed standards would reduce emissions of smog- and soot-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx) from heavy-duty gasoline and diesel engines and set updated greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for certain commercial vehicle categories.
This proposed rule would ensure the heavy-duty vehicles and engines that drive American commerce and connect people across the country are as clean as possible while charting a path to advance zero-emission vehicles in the heavy-duty fleet.
The proposed action would reduce NOx emissions from trucks by as much as 60 percent in 2045 – a move that would result in widespread air quality improvements across the United States, especially in areas already overburdened by air pollution and diesel emissions.
The benefits of the proposed rule would exceed its costs by billions of dollars. EPA estimates that “by 2045 the most ambitious option outlined in today’s proposal would result in the following annual benefits”:
Up to 2,100 fewer premature deaths
6,700 fewer hospital admissions and emergency department visits
18,000 fewer cases of asthma onset in children
3.1 million fewer cases of asthma symptoms and allergic rhinitis symptoms
78,000 fewer lost days of work
1.1 million fewer lost school days for children
The EPA’s latest action is the first step in EPA’s “Clean Trucks Plan” – a series of clean air and climate regulations the agency will develop over the next three years to reduce pollution from trucks and buses and to advance the transition to a zero-emissions transportation future.
EPA’s goal is to deliver significant – and needed – public health benefits by designing a program that sets ambitious standards and that are feasible for the trucking industry after giving appropriate consideration to cost and other factors while supporting the American economy.
To accomplish this, EPA has engaged with stakeholders and identified several options in the proposal that address the robustness of the standards, the timing for phasing in the standards, options to incentivize early clean technology adoption, and improvements to emissions warranties.
The proposed revisions to existing GHG standards for model year 2027 and beyond would set updated GHG emissions standards for subsectors where electrification is advancing at a more rapid pace – think school buses, transit buses, commercial delivery trucks, and short-haul tractors.
In a separate action, EPA will be setting new GHG emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles as soon as the model year 2030. This action will more comprehensively address the long–term trend toward zero-emissions vehicles across the heavy-duty sector.
A public comment period and hearing will give stakeholders and the public an opportunity to comment on the proposal.
“EPA’s existing standards for emissions from heavy-duty vehicles have not been updated in many years,” GASP senior attorney John Baillie said. “ The implementation of these new standards will modernize the heavy-duty vehicle fleet and greatly reduce the harmful emissions that trucks and buses produce.”
For more information on the rule on the public comment process, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/regulations-emissions-vehicles-and-engines/proposed-rule-and-related-materials-control-air-1
Check back, this blog will be updated with more information about the public comment period and hearing as soon as that information is available.
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