Final EPA rule will reduce air pollution, but more action is needed to drive zero-emission trucks and buses
20 December 2022 (Washington, D.C.)—Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Transportation and Air Quality issued a final rule to limit emissions of nitrogen oxides and greenhouse gases (GHG) from new heavy-duty engines and vehicles. The new limits will vastly reduce air pollution compared to the current standards set more than twenty years ago. Importantly, EPA finalized this rulemaking in time for the new limits to apply to model 2027 engines, which is the soonest date that statutory limits allow.
The final rule is a big step in the right direction. It will advance new, robust technologies that will slash emissions compared to today’s trucks and buses. The rule includes new testing requirements to ensure lower pollution from urban driving, which disproportionately affects people of color and low-income households. Still, it does not take advantage of all the technology options we reported to be cost-effective in our comments on the proposed rule nor follow our recommendation to align as closely as possible with California’s Omnibus rule. Our research found that a national Omnibus rule could avoid $1.3 trillion in health damages from 2027-2050.
EPA should build upon this rulemaking with a strong proposal on Phase 3 GHG standards in 2023. A robust Phase 3 rule can deliver additional air pollution benefits by driving deployment of zero-emissions electric trucks and buses and will be the cornerstone to slowing the climate impacts of heavy-duty vehicles in the U.S. The upcoming rule will be a chance for the Biden Administration to implement its commitment to 100% zero-emission truck sales by 2040. In the coming weeks we will be publishing new research demonstrating the potential for and benefits of a rapid transition to a national zero-emission heavy-duty fleet.
Ray Minjares, Heavy-duty vehicles Program Director, [email protected]
Stephanie Searle, United States and Fuels Program Director, [email protected]