The EPA is setting new emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles in an effort to combat climate change

The agency says the move will avoid 1 billion tons of greenhouse gases. 

March 29, 2024, 10:37 AM ET

6 minutes read

The Environmental Protection Agency announced its new emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles on Friday, which the agency says will avoid 1 billion tons of greenhouse gases.

The move comes in an election year as the Biden-Harris campaign works to demonstrate success on its climate agenda.

The new standards affect vehicles such as delivery trucks and buses manufactured for model years 2027-2032. This follows last week’s announcement of revised standards for light and medium vehicles.

“In finalizing these emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles like trucks and buses, the EPA is significantly reducing emissions from the hardest-working vehicles on the road,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a news release. “Building on our recently completed light and medium-duty vehicle rule, the EPA’s energy efficient and durable vehicle standards respond to the urgency of the climate crisis by reducing the severity of emissions. from the transport sector.”

The new performance-based standards reduce allowable emissions across a manufacturer’s fleet, but are not technology neutral, according to the EPA. This means manufacturers can use a variety of emissions control technologies to meet emissions requirements, including internal combustion engines, hybrids, battery electric vehicles and more.

In the period covered by the new standards, model years 2027-2032, the required reduction in emissions will increase gradually each year.

Drainage truck pipes are seen on Nov. 5. 2019 Miami. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The EPA is setting new emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles in an effort to combat climate change

The administration noted in its announcement of the new regulations that heavy-duty vehicles are “vital to the United States economy,” but said they account for about 25% of the transportation sector’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“The 1 billion tons of greenhouse gases avoided by these standards is equivalent to the emissions from more than 13 million trucks’ worth of gasoline,” the EPA said in a release. “With this action, the Biden-Harris Administration is continuing to deliver the most ambitious climate plan in history while continuing a historic commitment to environmental justice.”

American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer celebrated the announcement in a statement on Friday.

“Transportation is the largest source of pollution driving climate change. These strong standards will help drive towards a zero-emissions future for trucks, buses and other heavy vehicles. important solution The American Lung Association celebrates this new law. , will improve the health of people across the US,” Wimmer wrote.

An electric bus at the BYD Coach and Bus manufacturing plant in Lancaster, California, on February 2, 2023. Bloomberg via Getty Images

The administration estimates that the new standards will provide $13 billion in public benefits by saving public health, the climate and for truck owners and workers.

“EPA’s clean truck standards will cut billions of tons of air pollution by 2055. They will also cut nitrogen oxides that form smog by 53,000 tons by 2055,” Environmental Defense Fund you said. “And they will save our nation money – $3.5 billion in average annual revenue for airlines, $300 million in average annual health benefits and $13 billion in total benefits of the public annual.”

The Heavy-Duty Leadership Group, which describes itself as “an informal partnership of manufacturers and companies that supply heavy goods to the community,” responded to the new standards on Friday, highlighting their commitment to reducing emissions their products. The companies also say the EPA’s first rules are to “accelerate industry adoption of advanced technologies while minimizing market disruption.”

Cynthia Williams, Ford Motor Company’s global director of operations, relations and compliance, said the new EPA rule is “challenging,” but “Ford is working hard to meet this deadline.”

“Our industry is making significant progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from light- and heavy-duty vehicles,” Williams said in a statement. “We also need policy makers to combine production standards and incentives with public investment so that we can continue to provide the vehicles of the future and for our community to lead the future of this industry.”

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