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Environmental Group Slams Proposal to Repeal Emissions Standards for Freight Trucks

| November 13, 2017

Freight Trucks

A leading environmental group has strongly opposed a proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that would repeal modern emissions standards for freight trucks that combine an old engine with a new frame.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), “the Obama administration closed the loophole when it updated clean air safeguards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks in 2016.”

Noted Luke Tonachel, director of NRDC’s Clean Vehicles and Fuels Project:

“Reopening this loophole is an unconscionable move that could cause the premature deaths of 1,600 Americans from just one year of dirty truck sales. Instead of letting these dirty trucks keep spewing up to 40 times more pollution than modern big rigs, the EPA should protect the air we all breathe from this dangerous threat.”

Here’s the back story: The EPA tightened emissions standards for smog-forming nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and fine particulate matter (PM) pollution that heavy-duty freight trucks must meet in 2010. But a loophole has let manufacturers of big rigs assembled from dirty, old engines and new frames keep using pre-2010 engines that don’t comply with the latest clean-air protections. EPA estimates these engines typically emit 20 to 40 times more pollution than the modern, cleaner engines that major truck manufacturers now make.

The NRDC noted: “This harmful loophole has caused sales of trucks with old, dirty engines to skyrocket from a few hundred a year to as many as 10,000 annually, because they cost about 25 percent less than new trucks. Extra pollution from one year of 10,000 dirtier truck sales could lead to 1,600 premature deaths. Yearly sales represent just five percent of all freight trucks manufactured annually but are responsible for one-third the total NOx and PM pollution from all new heavy trucks.”

The Obama administration closed the loophole with broad support from major truck manufacturers and dealers when it updated emissions standards for all freight trucks in 2016. New trucks should meet modern emissions standards in January 2018.

Category: General Update, Green, News

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