For the first time in more than 15 years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans to reduce nitrogen oxide, NOx, emissions from heavy-duty trucks with proposed standards taking effect in 2024 model year vehicles, according to Trucking Info.
The announcement comes in light of mounting concerns from cities like Los Angeles and states, including New York, Connecticut, Washington, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Vermont, with persistent smog problems. Nitrogen oxide contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone and is linked with negative respiratory effects, according to the EPA.
Trucks.com reports local and state governments and environmental agencies urged the EPA to speed up the process. The agencies requested the regulations to reduce NOx emissions take effect with 2022 model year vehicles.
In a response to the petition, the EPA stuck to its 2024 timeline: “New model year 2024 standards would coincide with both the latest timing stated in the petitions and also an important model year for the implementation of the heavy-duty Phase 2 standards,” which are part of its Green House Gas program established in August.
The EPA said it would “consider the development of a new harmonized Federal and California program to reduce NOx emissions from heavy-duty on-highway engines and vehicles. In addition, (the) EPA plans to work with truck and engine manufacturers, suppliers, state/local/tribal air quality agencies, NGOs, labor, the trucking industry, and the petitioners as we move forward on this rulemaking.”
Industry responses to the proposal centered on the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) and its agreement to cooperate with the EPA and California Air Resources Board “to determine if new regulations are warranted and can be implemented in a fashion that keeps costs and exhaust complexity at a minimum for North American fleets and other end users,” Trucking Info reports.
Jed Mandel, EMA president, agreed that it will take additional time to research the potential for new regulations and create a reasonable way to make them a reality.