Environmental Protection Agency Seeking Public Opinion On New Emissions Rule

On January 20, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formally published, in the Federal Register, their long awaited Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) concerning the agency's Cleaner Truck Initiative (CTI). The CTI would establish new emission standards for oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and other pollutants which are emitted from highway heavy-duty engines. In its ANPRM, the EPA is seeking input from all stakeholders regarding how to ultimately shape its eventual proposed rule on the CTI.

In its ANPRM, the EPA cites petitions from over 20 organizations including state and local agencies asking for a nationwide NOx standard. Specifically, the EPA mentions working on a national standard for NOx with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which has been working on its own standard for several years. Additionally, EPA notes that while emissions controls have worked to reduce NOx and other pollutants, more work needs to be done to further reduce pollutants from the air. Furthermore, the EPA lists several goals for its CTI including:
·        CTI should not undermine the industry's plans to meet the CO2 and fuel consumption requirements of the Heavy-duty Phase 2 program and should not adversely impact safety   
·        CTI should leverage “smart” communications and computing technology
·        CTI will provide sufficient lead time and stability for manufacturers to meet new requirements
·        CTI should streamline and modernize regulatory requirements
·        CTI should support improved vehicle reliability
The EPA is also seeking input from industry on a host of emission control technologies that are either currently available or are expected to be available, as well as seeking input on testing standards which could help reduce emissions. Finally, the EPA is seeking comments on potential regulatory incentives for manufacturers which are early adopters of emission reduction technologies. The EPA is hesitant to allow manufacturers to bank credits since they do not believe that approach would work for the CTI. 
The EPA has allowed for a 30 day comment period which will close on February 20, 2020. The EPA expects to offer its proposed rule in 2021 after it has had an opportunity to read and incorporate the comments from the ANPRM.  If you have thoughts or questions on the proposed rule, please email TRALA's Andrew Stasiowski at your earliest convenience at or by calling (703)299-9120. You may view the ANPRM by clicking here.