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  • Posted March 7, 2022

EPA Proposes Tougher Emission Standards for Big Trucks

Tighter restrictions on emissions from big trucks were proposed Monday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

"Seventy-two million people are estimated to live near truck freight routes in America, and they are more likely to be people of color and those with lower incomes. These overburdened communities are directly exposed to pollution that causes respiratory and cardiovascular problems, among other serious and costly health effects," EPA administrator Michael Regan said in an agency news release.

"These new standards will drastically cut dangerous pollution by harnessing recent advancements in vehicle technologies from across the trucking industry as it advances toward a zero-emissions transportation future," Regan added.

Starting in 2027, the new proposed standards would reduce emissions of smog- and soot-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx) from heavy-duty gasoline and diesel engines. That would cut NOx emissions from trucks by as much as 60% in 2045, according to the EPA.

It also proposes updated greenhouse gas standards for certain commercial vehicle categories, including school buses, transit buses, commercial delivery trucks and short-haul trucks. The benefits of the proposed rule would exceed its costs by billions of dollars, the EPA said. It estimates that by 2045, the most ambitious option in the proposal would deliver the following benefits.

  • Up to 2,100 fewer premature deaths
  • 6,700 fewer hospital admissions and emergency department visits
  • 18,000 fewer cases of asthma onset in children
  • 3.1 million fewer cases of asthma symptoms and allergy symptoms
  • 78,000 fewer lost days of work
  • 1.1 million fewer lost school days for children.

The EPA said the proposal is the first step in its "Clean Trucks Plan," a series of clean air and climate regulations it will develop over the next three years to cut pollution from trucks and buses, and to advance the transition to zero-emissions transportation.

In a separate action, the EPA said it will be setting new greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles as soon as model year 2030.

More information

The World Health Organization has more on air pollution and health.

SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, news release, March 7, 2022

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