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Statement by Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum, on the Announcement by the US EPA, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Establishing Future Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty On Highway Vehicles


    WASHINGTON (March 7, 2022) – The DTF issued the following statement regarding EPA’s announcement today of a NPRM for future heavy-duty engines.

    For the last two decades, fuel producers, suppliers and truck and engine manufacturers and their customers have been working to virtually eliminate emissions from heavy-duty highway vehicles —commercial trucks and buses — the majority of which are powered by diesel. The new EPA proposal to establish future standards is the next stop on that journey.

    As a result of current policies, new diesel trucks are more efficient and are 98% lower in emissions compared to the previous generation (pre-2010) and since 2006 have utilized ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (less than 15 ppm sulfur). Nearly half of all commercial trucks in operation today are of this newest generation. For the largest commercial trucks – class 8 tractor trailers, half are of the newest generation.

    These advancements have contributed substantially to making our air cleaner and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The design of these new generation diesel vehicles is such that they have reduced fuel consumption by nearly twenty billion gallons, prevented 202 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and 27 million metric tons of nitrogen oxide emissions compared to previous generations of technology.

    For this proposed rule, it is vitally important that EPA get this right. Diesel engines are going to continue to dominate many segments of the trucking sector for some time yet, even as alternative fuels and zero emission vehicles become more available. The right rule will enable further improvements in diesel technology and continued investments in new vehicles that will be important to sustain progress toward meeting both clean air and climate goals. A rule that results in dramatic shifts in the new truck market (pre-buy/low-buy) will be bad for jobs, the economy and the environment.

    Truckers must be willing and able to invest in the next generation of advanced diesel products to emerge from these rules to ensure continued progress on meeting clean air and climate objectives. Otherwise, without continued turnover in the fleet, older generations of technology with relatively higher emissions will stay in service longer, thereby delaying benefits to disadvantaged communities and contributing to worse air quality all around the country.

    About half registered commercial trucks are an older generation; pre-2011 model year vehicles with relatively higher emissions without the benefit of particulate traps and/or selective catalytic reduction technology. The relative benefit of accelerating the turnover of these older trucks to newer technology will likely mean more and faster clean air benefits than new future standards that achieve 99% emissions reduction from today’s trucks that are already achieving 98% emissions reductions compared to 2000 model year vehicles.

    We look forward to continuing dialogue with EPA and all stakeholders about this rulemaking and the future for commercial vehicles powered by advanced diesel engines.

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