EPA seeks feedback on Cleaner Trucks Initiative

January 17, 2020

Mark Schremmer


Truck drivers have about a month to provide comments to the Environmental Protection Agency to help shape the agency’s Cleaner Trucks Initiative.

The EPA’s advance notice of proposed rulemaking is set to publish in the Federal Register on Jan. 21. Once that happens, the public will have 30 days to comment. According to the agency, the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking aims to create the framework for “new emission standards for oxides of nitrogen and other pollutants for highway heavy-duty engines.”

“The EPA is seeking input on this effort from the public, including all interested stakeholders, to inform the development of a subsequent notice of proposed rulemaking,” the notice said.

In November 2018, the EPA announced plans to start the Cleaner Trucks Initiative as a way to update standards for NOx emissions from heavy-duty vehicles.

“Although NOx emissions in the U.S. have dropped by more than 40 percent over the past decade, we project that heavy-duty vehicles continue to be one of the largest contributors to the mobile source NOx inventory in 2028,” the notice said. “Reducing NOx emissions from highway heavy-duty trucks and buses is thus an important component of improving air quality nationwide and reducing public health and welfare effects associated with these pollutants, especially for vulnerable populations and lifestages, and in highly impacted regions.”

Shaping the proposal

The EPA said it has assembled a team to gather scientific and technical data needed to inform the agency’s notice of proposed rulemaking.

“We intend the Cleaner Trucks Initiative to be a holistic rethinking of emission standards and compliance,” the notice said.

EPA said it plans to develop its proposal based on the following principles:

  • The goal should be to reduce in-use emissions under a broad range of operating conditions.
  • The agency should consider and enable effective technological solutions while carefully considering the cost impacts.
  • Its compliance and enforcement provisions should be fair and effective.
  • EPA’s regulations should incentivize early compliance and innovation.
  • EPA should ensure a coordinated 50-state program.
  • EPA should actively engage with interested stakeholders.

OOIDA encourages truckers to comment

OOIDA took part in the EPA’s announcement of the notice on Jan. 6 and has been involved in the process to ensure that the voice of small-business truckers is heard before the EPA makes a formal proposal.

“It’s imperative our members provide thoughtful comments that include the difficulties they had with previous emissions reduction technology,” said Collin Long, OOIDA’s director of federal affairs.

Comments may be made at the Regulations.gov website by entering docket number EPA-HQ-OAR-2019-0055.