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Truck, Engine Builders Seek Alignment With Greenhouse Gas Regs

August 18, 2016 By: Trucking News Staff Tags: Fleet Management, Fuel, News, Regulations
Truck, Engine Builders Seek Alignment With Greenhouse Gas Regs

This week’s federal release of a second, more stringent regulatory standard for fuel-efficiency and the environment for commercial trucks has the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) taking a close look at the ramifications of such regulations.

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) this week release Phase 2 of new standards to increase fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses.

Following immediately on the heels of the Phase 1 greenhouse gas/fuel efficiency standards (that won’t be fully implemented until 2017), the Phase 2 rule is a significantly more ambitious and complex regulatory program with increasingly challenging and more stringent requirements that will be implemented in three stages through the year 2027.

EMA has worked consistently to assure that the EPA and DOT adopt a single, national program applicable in all 50 states, providing significant technical input during the Phase 2 rulemaking process. A vitally important outcome is that EPA and DOT have collaborated to issue a single final rule that includes a harmonized approach to greenhouse gas reductions and fuel efficiency improvements.

“As the primary manufacturers of medium- and heavy-duty engines and vehicles in the United States, EMA members are in the process of implementing the Phase 1 standards,” said Jed Mandel, EMA’s president. “The success of the Phase 1 implementation is directly tied to the fact that the 2011 standards were well matched with EMA member efforts to meet customer demand for more fuel efficient vehicles.

“We are in the process of reviewing this week’s highly complex rule to determine if it aligns with manufacturers’ efforts and customer needs. If not, the Phase 2 program would impose enormous costs on our customers, constrain customer choice, and, as a result, impose significant challenges to its successful implementation.”

Mandel also noted that EPA has made a commitment in the final rule to work with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to reduce even further the level of NOx emissions from heavy-duty on-highway engines.

“The NOx emissions from heavy-duty on-highway engines have already been reduced to near-zero emission levels — so small as to challenge the ability to measure them,” said Mandel. “Additional incremental reductions could come at a very significant expense and raise the prospect of disadvantageous tradeoffs and impediments to achieving the GHG/fuel efficiency standards that EPA and DOT have adopted today.”

In addition, Mandel claimed, “It is important that CARB and EPA engage a broad group as they move forward. There are questions that need to be examined, such as the validation of California’s ozone modeling, the best ways to incentivize the adoption of existing lower emitting technology, and the potential improvement of emission testing protocols. EMA and its members are fully committed to working with EPA, CARB and other stakeholders to better understand the needs, opportunities and consequences of further lowering the NOx standard.”

EMA represents worldwide manufacturers of internal combustion engines used in applications such as trucks and buses, farm and construction equipment, locomotives, marine vessels, and lawn, garden, and utility equipment as well as the manufacturers of medium and heavy-duty trucks greater than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. The association works with government and other stakeholders to help the nation achieve its goals of cleaner fuels, more efficient engines, cleaner air and safer trucks and roadways.