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The US finalizes tough new emissions regulations for large trucks

The US finalizes tough new emissions regulations for large trucks

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will announce Tuesday that it is finalizing new emission standards to drastically reduce smog- and soot-forming emissions from heavy-duty trucks, the first in a series of measures planned to reduce vehicle pollution.

The new standards, the first update to clean air standards for heavy-duty trucks in more than two decades, are more than 80% stricter than current standards. The EPA estimates that the rule will result in up to 2,900 fewer premature deaths annually by 2045, 1.1 million fewer school days lost by children, and $29 billion in annual net profits.

“It’s really important — particularly to protect the health of the 72 million people who live near trucking routes in America,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in an interview with Reuters, adding that the rule will result in a reduction of smog by up to 48%. Formation of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 2045. “This is a very, very aggressive approach to reducing NOx emissions.

Separately, the EPA plans to propose so-called “Phase 3” greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for heavy-duty vehicles and new emissions standards for light- and medium-duty vehicles by March. Both rules are scheduled to come into effect after their completion from the 2027 model year.

In December 2021, the EPA finalized new requirements for passenger vehicle emissions through 2026 that reversed President Donald Trump’s reversal of reducing pollution from cars.

The EPA said Tuesday it expects to make decisions on California state exemption requests to establish its own emissions regulations for heavy trucks.

The EPA chose not to finalize GHG emissions rules for heavy trucks in 2022 after Congress passed new incentives to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission vehicles. The EPA believes that given the Climate Act’s $40,000 qualifying commercial clean vehicle tax credit, much higher adoption rates for zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles are possible.

Transportation is the largest source of U.S. GHG emissions, accounting for 29% of emissions, and heavy-duty vehicles are the second-biggest polluter at 23%, according to the EPA.

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