ARLINGTON, Va. and GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — Reaction came swiftly from the trucking industry on Monday after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposal to enact sweeping new regulations on diesel truck emissions.
Officials with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assocation (OOIDA) said in statement that when the Cleaner Trucks Initiative was first announced in 2020, the organization “stood side-by-side with EPA in hopes that a collaborative rulemaking process with input from professional truck drivers would result in practical emissions standards.”
However, “today’s announcement largely ignores that goal in favor of government overreach that will almost assuredly force safe drivers off the road, especially small-business truckers and owner-operators,” OOIDA’s statement read.
OOIDA officials said that when Vice President Kamala Harris remarked in Mira Loma, California, that commercial trucks made thousands of trips to the town and brought soot, exhaust and toxic air, “she failed to mention anything about all the food, clothes, emergency provisions and medical supplies that truckers have delivered to American communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“The EPA’s proposal highlights the projected millions of fewer lost school days for children but does not say much about the millions of dollars in equipment and vehicle costs that owner-operators will have to foot the bill for,” OOIDA’s statement read.
“Make no mistake, clean air is a priority for everyone. However, we believe there is a more realistic path forward to reducing commercial vehicle emissions that actually involves listening to men and women in the trucking industry. We hope EPA will get back to that strategy as they develop the Final Cleaner Trucks Initiative Rule throughout the rest of the year. Truckers know all too well from experience with previous rulemakings that poorly implemented regulations will result in breakdowns, downtime, and ultimately set back the goal of achieving cleaner air.”
American Trucking Associations (ATA) President and CEO Chris Spear said it will be critical that any new EPA rules result in usable, reliable and cost-effective equipment:
“We share the Biden administration’s goals of reducing air pollution – as a longtime member of EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership – we have worked in harmony with environmental regulators to successfully reduce greenhouse gas and NOx emissions,” Spear said.
“We will be looking very closely at the proposal put forth today by the administration and working with them to shape an outcome that builds on those reductions, while not hurting the reliability of the trucks and trailers we purchase, nor imposing unreasonable or unworkable costs on our industry.”
Spear concluded: “We want to ensure that the Biden administration sets one, single national NOx emissions standard and that such standard can be achieved with workable, reliable technology – anything less than that will be extremely problematic for ATA and our members.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.