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US Regulators Finalize Rules on Truck Emissions Limits

Date: August 16, 2016

Source: News Room

Regulators announced new standards aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions from medium- and heavy-duty trucks by up to 25 percent by 2027. The final Phase 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) rules, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), include new provisions that won support from truck and engine makers, as well as environmental groups. Laid out in 1,690 pages, the rules seek to tighten oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and methane emissions as well as "clarify" the classification of natural gas engines and other gaseous-fueled heavy-duty engines. The rule also includes separate standards for the engines that power combination tractors and vocational vehicles, with EPA-specific hydrofluorocarbon standards to control leakage from air conditioning systems in vocational vehicles. The deal was struck after more than 400 meetings involving regulators, companies and environmental groups and ultimately won the backing of California's AirResources Board, truck and engine manufacturers and environmental groups.

U.S. truckers hauled 10.5 billion tons of freight last year at a cost of $726 billion. The government says the new rules will save $170 billion in fuel costs over the life of the vehicles. But it will add $27 billion in upfront costs. That equates to annual savings of between $7.8 billion to $8.5 billion. Fuel is one of the largest costs for trucking companies, and fleet operators have already been investing in fuel-saving technology and training drivers to operate more efficiently.

UPS, Daimler Trucks North America, Cummins, Waste Management and PepsiCo were among many companies endorsing the rules. "We've long supported standards that reduce emissions and improve the environment, particularly in the communities where we operate," noted David Steiner, CEO of Waste Management.

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