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Exclusive – US Environmental Protection Agency considers tougher emissions rules for heavy trucks

Written by David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will consider adopting stricter greenhouse gas emissions regulations for heavy trucks, the agency told Reuters, after Congress passed new incentives to speed up the adoption of zero-emissions vehicles.

In March, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed new rules to cut greenhouse gas emissions and greenhouse gases from heavy vehicles. The agency said it would reopen proposed greenhouse gas bases after the passage of the climate law in August and the spending of the inflation-reduction act, a move that could speed up America’s shift to heavy-duty electric vehicles.

The EPA will issue an additional rule-making notice for proposed consideration of stricter greenhouse gas standards for the years 2027 through 2029 in December.

“The big change here is the inflation-reduction law,” Joseph Goffman, an official with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation, told Reuters. “Congress has certainly sent a very strong message backed by significant resources.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) believes that much greater zero-emission vehicle adoption rates are possible from 2027 through 2029.

The Environmental Protection Agency is still planning to finalize proposed truck rules for smog formation by December.

Jed Mandel, president of the Association of Truck and Engine Manufacturers, which represents companies such as Daimler (OTC:) Trucks, Larva (NYSE: πŸ™‚ and Cummins (NYSE:), said on Wednesday that “Working on all these rules and regulations collectively is very important and very difficult.”

Mandel said it was unclear how the incentives under the IRA would “affect the industry in the near term.”

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The nonprofit RMI said the $40,000 inflation cut bill “will lead to a tax reliance on eligible clean commercial vehicles.” It will make electric trucks cheaper to run than diesel in most cases.

In March, the Environmental Protection Agency said greenhouse gas standards for new heavy-duty trucks when fully implemented would result in as much as 24% to 25% of carbon dioxide emissions, but environmentalists have pressed the agency to do more.

β€œIt is imperative that EPA policies align with the urgency of air quality and climate crises,” said Catherine Garcia, Sierra Club Transportation Officer. β€œWe urge the administration to move quickly to finalize heavy-duty standards in the near term.”

The Environmental Protection Agency in March proposed stricter standards for 17 of 33 subcategories of occupational vehicles and tractors, including school buses, buses, commercial delivery trucks and short-haul tractors.

Next month, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will consider new rules that require zero-emission trucks to be deployed starting in 2024 and “set a clear deadline for sales of medium and heavy-duty internal combustion engines in 2040.”

CARB President Leanne Randolph told Reuters the board will vote on procurement requirements for delivery vehicle fleets of 50 or more vehicles to transition to zero-emissions purchases. They need to go to zero,” Randolph said.

Transportation is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the United States, accounting for 29% of emissions, and heavy vehicles are the second largest contributor, at 23%, the Environmental Protection Agency said.

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