On Monday, Vice President Kamala Harris in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a major plan to curb emissions from heavy duty trucks.
The EPA’s proposed rule would require reduced emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from heavy-duty gasoline and diesel engines and would establish updated greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for certain commercial vehicle categories starting in Model Year (MY) 2027.
“The proposed revisions to existing GHG standards for MY2027 and beyond would set updated GHG emissions standards for subsectors where electrification is advancing at a more rapid pace. These sectors include 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 model year 2030. This action will more comprehensively address the long
–term trend towards zero emissions vehicles across the heavy-duty sector,” the EPA said in a news release.
The White House says that if the proposal is adopted, it “would reduce NOx emissions from new trucks by up to 90% by 2031 compared to today’s standards.”
The EPA’s proposed emissions rule is the first step in the agency’s “Clean Trucks Plan” – a series of clean air and climate regulations that the agency will develop over the next three years to reduce pollution from trucks and buses and to advance the transition away from diesel powered vehicles.
The White House estimates that the proposed rule would prevent 2000 premature deaths and 6700 hospital and ER visits each year.
“Seventy-two million people are estimated to live near truck freight routes in America, and they are more likely to be people of color and those with lower incomes. These overburdened communities are directly exposed to pollution that causes respiratory and cardiovascular problems, among other serious and costly health effects,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “These new standards will drastically cut dangerous pollution by harnessing recent advancements in vehicle technologies from across the trucking industry as it advances toward a zero-emissions transportation future.”
The EPA’s proposal builds upon President Biden’s Executive Order on Strengthening American Leadership in Clean Cars and Trucks signed in August 2021.
Harris announced several federal actions related to the transportation industry on Monday, to “expand clean public transit and school buses, reduce emissions from dirty diesel trucks, and create good-paying jobs.” In addition to curtailing emissions from trucks, Harris seeks to expand public transportation, invest in replacing diesel powered school buses with electric buses, and to reduce emissions at ports through the adoption of electric vehicle technology.