WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Thursday it is planning to revisit provisions of the Phase 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fuel-efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty engines following concerns raised by stakeholders in the trailer and glider industry.
“In light of the significant issues raised, the agency has decided to revisit the Phase 2 trailer and glider provisions,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “We intend to initiate a rulemaking process that incorporates the latest technical data and is wholly consistent with our authority under the Clean Air Act.”
American Trucking Associations officials said they were concerned that by moving to reopen the second phase of its GHG and fuel-efficiency standards the EPA could be setting the stage for California to impose a “de facto national standard,” superseding federal rules.
“ATA is proud of our record on fuel efficiency and sustainability,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “In large part, due to our support for Phase 1 of the EPA’s greenhouse gas rule, today’s new trucks are cleaner and more efficient than ever. We had worked closely with EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Phase 2 to continue building on that success, but by reopening the rule to reexamine trailers and glider kits, EPA has opened the door to California taking the lead, and a more aggressive track, in setting trailer standards.
“As representatives of an interstate industry, ATA believes a single national standard, set by federal regulators, is preferable to at worst, a patchwork of state standards or at best, a de facto national standard that is set without the appropriate opportunity for the entire regulated community — many members of which are not based in California — to weigh in.”
“As we have done over the entire course in developing the Phase 2 Rule, we will continue to work closely with both EPA and NHTSA as they reopen and consider changes to the final rule,” said Glen Kedzie, ATA vice president and energy and environmental counsel.
In September 2011, EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued GHG emissions and fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles for model years 2014-2018 or Phase 1. These standards applied to newly manufactured engines, tractors, vocational vehicles, large pickups, and vans.
In October 2016, EPA and NHTSA updated the standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles for model years 2021-2027 for Phase 2, and regulated trailers and gliders (new trucks and tractors that get rebuilt or remanufactured powertrain components) — for the first time under the GHG program — with compliance deadlines beginning in 2018.