The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tuesday introduced its Cleaner Trucks Initiative, a new program that includes a future rulemaking to establish updated standards to address oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions from the engines of heavy-duty on-highway trucks.
EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the Cleaner Trucks Initiative in a brief ceremony at EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C. Wheeler says the EPA intends to “take a comprehensive review of existing requirements to root out inefficiencies,” while still “[ensuring] heavy-duty trucks are clean and remain a competitive way to transport goods.”
Since Monday’s announcement, multiple trucking industry groups have spoken out in support of the initiative and its positive potential impact on the trucking industry and U.S. environment.
In a statement Tuesday, the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) said it supports the initiative, noting over the past two decades EMA manufacturers have innovated and implemented advanced clean technologies to reduce NOx emissions by over 90 percent and particulate emissions by over 98 percent.
“Our members continue to increase fuel efficiency and lower greenhouse gas emissions in line with standards that will continue to challenge us through the next decade. EMA members are ready to build upon these successes to achieve even greater reductions,” says Jed Mandel, EMA president. “The Cleaner Trucks Initiative is a tremendous opportunity. We – EPA and the manufacturers – have done this before, and we’re ready to step forward to do it again. We ask the Agency to follow that same successful roadmap by leading a collaborative, open regulatory process involving all stakeholders.”
The Diesel Technology Forum (DTF) also supported the initiative Tuesday, stating: “The new Cleaner Trucks Initiative sets the vision for the heavy-duty diesel engines of the future as high-value assets which help achieve our nation’s future energy and clean air goals while also expanding economic growth. Diesel has always been a technology of continuous improvement and this initiative sets the pace for the next generation of advanced diesel technology.”
The DTF adds, “Along with achieving greater fuel efficiency and lower greenhouse gas emissions, expectations are high that the future of long-haul commercial trucking will have an even more compelling choice in the next generation of diesel technology. Diesel has long been the technology of choice for the commercial vehicle sector, thanks to its continuous improvement and unique combination of energy efficiency, power and performance, reliability and durability, and most recently, achievement of near-zero emissions. The Cleaner Trucks Initiative will help bring today’s generation of diesel even nearer to zero emissions than ever before.”
Mandel says the EMA also is encouraged by the Cleaner Trucks Initiative’s potential move “from a prescriptive-based compliance program to one that is performance-based.”
He adds, “By working together, we believe we can reduce emissions and improve and streamline the compliance program while at the same time preserve the necessary diversity of the commercial vehicle marketplace and protect the needs of our customers for durable, reliable products.”
UPDATE: Cummins also supports the initiative
Cummins Inc. on Wednesday also announced its support of the EPA’s efforts to develop a national low NOx (nitrogen oxides) rule for on-highway heavy-duty engines.
“Cummins has a long history of working with regulators to help develop tough, clear and enforceable standards that lead to a cleaner, healthier and safer environment,” says Jennifer Rumsey, vice president and chief technical officer at Cummins. “We can and should do more to reduce NOx. This is an important step forward because a streamlined, national regulatory program brings consistency across the country allowing manufacturers to develop cleaner, more cost-effective solutions for our customers.”
UPDATE: Daimler pledges support for the initiative
Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) says it “strongly supports” the EPA’s initiative to streamline regulatory requirements and improve air quality, while maintaining a regulatory framework that encourages reliable, durable products with low total cost of ownership (TCO).
“DTNA looks forward to working with the EPA on the Cleaner Truck Initiative,” says Sean Waters, director of regulatory compliance. “We are confident that the Cleaner Air Initiative will provide real world emission reductions, streamline certification and compliance and continue to enable us to provide vehicles with the best TCO.”