Legislation would overturn vehicle emissions rule

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A group of 34 Republican senators recently introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate that would overturn an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that created new emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles.

The rule updated the standards for nitrogen oxides and other air pollutants, including carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and particulate matter, and changed the requirements regarding emission-control systems and emission-related warranties.

It will cost between $2,568 and $8,304 per vehicle to meet the new standards, according to EPA estimates.

The rule was finalized on Dec. 20 and will go into effect on March 27.

U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) introduced the legislation with 33 co-sponsors.

“This aggressive EPA rule – which will hit mom-and-pop truck operations the hardest – is also ineffective because it incentivizes operators to keep using older, higher-emitting trucks for longer,” Fischer said. “During a period of high inflation and supply chain disruptions, the last thing this country needs is more expensive freight costs and fewer truckers.”

The legislation has the support of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and Clark Freight Lines.

Compared to models from the late 1990s, trucks have between 98 percent and 99 percent fewer nitrogen oxide emissions using existing regulations, the senators point out.