Comments on EPA’s stricter truck emission standards proposal due May 16

May 12, 2022

Tyson Fisher

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing new truck emission standards and needs feedback from truckers before moving forward.

In a proposed rule filed in March, EPA wants to tighten nitrogen oxide emission standards for trucks starting with model year 2027 vehicles. Comments on the proposal are due Monday, May 16.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is encouraging professional drivers to provide feedback, including information about reliability, serviceability and warranties. Make sure EPA knows the problems you have encountered with emissions systems and the impact they have had on your business.

OOIDA has created an easy way for truckers to give feedback to EPA. To submit comments on its truck emission standards proposal, click here.

EPA’s proposal includes two options, one of which is stricter than the other. However, both are “problematic,” according to OOIDA.

“EPA must hear about the problems that drivers have encountered with current emissions systems and the impact they have had on small trucking businesses,” Jay Grimes, OOIDA’s director of federal affairs, told Land Line. “Their latest proposed emissions targets are problematic based on projected timelines and costs for drivers. We need to make sure EPA understands that and can formulate a more practicable final rule that would better achieve NOx emissions reductions without forcing safe drivers off the road.”

Option 1 is a two-phased approach that will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by about 90% by 2031. Option 2 involves just a single step and will reduce emissions by 75%. Both truck emission standard options begin with model year 2027 vehicles.

OOIDA believes that both options for stricter truck emission standards are being rushed.

What it calls an impractical timeline, the Association has concerns about vehicle performance and reliability.

Firstly, an expedited timeline will increase the price of any necessary technology, OOIDA claims. That includes the price of the initial purchase, maintenance, repair and time costs. OOIDA members are already spending about $5,000 on emissions-related equipment each year.

Secondly, OOIDA finds the reliability of necessary technology to be questionable. In fact, truckers have seen this movie before in the form of diesel particulate filters. Truckers should let EPA know about problems with similar technologies and how they impact their business. Expensive visits to dealers, lost productivity, poor efficiency and the cost to tow downed trucks are just a few examples of the unintended consequences of rushed technology.

Also, warranties need to be addressed. Specifically, will they be sufficient enough to deal with unforeseen problems with a new technology? Can the price of an extended warranty be justified? What are truckers looking for in a warranty and at what cost?

Lastly, what is the serviceability of engine components needed to comply with stricter truck emission standards? EPA is proposing changes to the owner’s manual and emissions label requirements to ensure access to certain maintenance information and improve serviceability. Would this be helpful?

In addition, drivers can send any experiences they have had with emissions technology, other feedback or additional information to EPA@OOIDA.com. LL

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Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.