EPA finalizes stricter pollution standards for large vehicles such as trucks and buses | CNN Business


The Biden administration on Tuesday finalized stricter pollution standards for heavy vehicles such as large trucks, delivery vans and buses starting with the 2027 model year.

The EPA’s new regulation is the standards’ first update since 2001. It will reduce smog and soot from heavy-duty trucks by requiring them to reduce NOx emissions by about 50% by 2045, and it will be more. The agency said it is 80% stronger than the current standard.

EPA Administrator Michael Reagan said in a statement that the new rule will protect public health, “particularly the health of the 72 million people who live near America’s trucking routes, including the most vulnerable populations in historically overburdened communities.”

The agency estimated that the rule would result in up to 2,900 fewer premature deaths, 18,000 fewer cases of childhood asthma and 6,700 fewer hospitalizations.

It also estimated that the rule would result in 78,000 fewer work days lost, 1.1 million fewer school days for children and total net benefits of $29 billion.

Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse emissions in the United States, with the average household vehicle making up more than 50% of the sector’s total emissions. Heavy vehicles such as large trucks and buses make up about 23%; Fewer of them are on the roads, but due to their size and fuel needs, they contribute a significant proportion to air pollution and greenhouse emissions.

An all-electric Mack LR garbage truck is parked behind the speakers’ stand during a ceremony to announce the new rules.

After the ceremony, Mack spokesman John Mies said the company supports long-term zero emissions goals for trucks and is also working to reduce dangerous emissions from diesel trucks. Mack is part of the Volvo Trucks group of companies, which is separate from the company that makes Volvo passenger cars.

“Obviously, the new standard is very challenging,” Mays said in an email. “Furthermore, the rule is very complex, so we need time to examine it and understand what it means for our customers, merchants, and employees.”

While the new rule is more stringent than existing standards, environmental and public health groups have called for stricter standards.

Brett Carmon, a federal advocate for clean vehicles for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement that the new rules leave more to be done and the EPA must “move quickly” to transition to zero-emissions trucks.

“After two decades of inaction, the Environmental Protection Agency is finally moving to reduce harmful truck tailpipe pollution,” Carmon said. “But these standards fall short, and the agency missed an important opportunity to reduce soot and smog and accelerate the transition to cleaner vehicles.”

California’s new heavy vehicle rule, for example, is 90% stronger than existing regulations. And earlier this year, California regulators criticized the EPA’s pollution rule for not having the bigger picture during the transition to electric trucks.

But the agency said finalizing it on Tuesday was just the first step.

In spring 2023, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to release proposed “Phase 3” greenhouse gas standards for heavy vehicles beginning in the 2027 model year. The agency is also expected to release proposed new standards for light and medium vehicle emissions for 2027 And beyond model year cars in the spring.

These rules, combined with climate and clean energy investments in a pair of infrastructure and climate laws already passed, said Reagan, “will accelerate President Biden’s ambitious agenda to overhaul the nation’s truck fleet, deliver cleaner air, and protect people and the planet.”

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