EPA finalizes strict greenhouse gas standards for heavy-duty vehicles

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On Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its final national greenhouse gas pollution standards for heavy-duty vehicles for model years 2027 through 2032.

The new standards will avoid 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions, officials said, and provide $13 billion in benefits for public health, climate and truck owner/operator savings. Officials with the EPA said the standards will also reduce dangerous air pollution, especially for those living near truck freight routes.

“In finalizing these emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles like trucks and buses, EPA is significantly cutting pollution from the hardest working vehicles on the road,” EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said. “Building on our recently finalized rule for light- and medium-duty vehicles, EPA’s strong and durable vehicle standards respond to the urgency of the climate crisis by making deep cuts in emissions from the transportation sector.”

The ”Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standard for Heavy-Duty Vehicles – Phase 3” will provide more certainty for industry, officials said, while catalyzing private investment and supporting U.S. manufacturing jobs. The EPA estimates that over the next 10 years, the final standards, will set the U.S. heavy-duty sector on a trajectory for growth. The Phase 3 standards build on the EPA’s Heavy-Duty Phase 2 program from 2016. The standards are technology-neutral and performance-based which allows the manufacturers to choose the set of emissions control technologies that best suit them and their customers. The new standards will apply to heavy-duty vocational vehicles and tractors.

National transportation advocacy group PlugIn American applauded the standards.

“The finalized EPA heavy-duty vehicle emissions standards join a suite of policy actions that support and drive innovation, improve air quality and public health, save Americans money, and reduce climate change emissions. We commend the Biden-Harris Administration for their commitment to clean transportation and the benefits it brings to all of us,” said Plug In America executive director Joel Levin.

The standards were also applauded by a number of advocacy groups, including the American Lung Association.

“The American Lung Association is pleased to support the new cleaner trucks standards,” Paul G. Billings, National Senior Vice President, Public Policy for the American Lung Association. “Today’s rule will improve the air we breathe and curb the pollution that is driving climate change. This rule is the capstone of the Clean Trucks Plan. The strong standards finalized today build on the 2023 rule to address oxides of nitrogen and last week’s multipollutant rule that will clean up light-and medium-duty vehicles. The result will be cleaner air and better health, especially in communities with heavy truck traffic nearby.”