EDF Urges EPA to “Substantially Strengthen” Proposed Emissions Standards for New Commercial Trucks and Buses

May 18, 2022
Sharyn Stein, 202-905-5718, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – May 18, 2022) EPA should substantially strengthen its proposed climate and smog-causing pollution standards for new commercial trucks and buses to protect public health and reduce climate pollution, according to comments submitted to the agency by Environmental Defense Fund.

EDF specifically urged EPA to set performance-based pollution standards that will ensure 80% of new school and transit buses, and 40% of most other new heavy-duty vehicles other than long haul trucks, are zero-emitting by 2029 – standards that would create a strong foundation for ensuring 100% of all new heavy-duty vehicles are zero-emitting by 2035.

“The Proposal must be substantially strengthened to deliver critical climate reductions, protect public health … and provide a strong foundation for next generation standards that drive even deeper pollution reductions from these vehicles,” EDF stated in its comments. “We respectfully urge EPA to consider all available tools to achieve deep pollution reductions and rapid [zero-emission vehicle] deployment as quickly as possible. These actions will save money for truckers and fleets, strengthen our energy security, and help to support and grow domestic jobs.”

EDF included a new white paper with its comments - The Opportunity for Near-Term Electrification of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles – that documents the reasonableness, feasibility, and urgent opportunity to strengthen EPA standards. The analysis finds that pollution standards ensuring 80% of new buses and 40% of most other new trucks are zero-emitting by 2029 would:

  • Prevent up to 9,600 premature deaths through 2050
  • Keep more than 1.6 billion tons of climate pollution and up to 2.2 million tons of ozone-forming nitrogen pollution out of our air through 2050
  • Save the U.S. up to $680 billion total through 2050, while at the same time growing well-paying jobs in states across the nation

EPA has been accepting public comments on its proposal for updated emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles – which include delivery vans and trucks, transit and school buses, and garbage trucks. These heavy-duty vehicles are only about four percent of all cars and trucks on our roads, but they are responsible for almost a quarter of all the climate pollution from the transportation sector. They are also a substantial source of nitrogen oxide emissions, which are a main component of unhealthy smog, and significant contributor of deadly fine particulate matter pollution.

Emissions from heavy-duty vehicles are especially dangerous to the people who live closest to them. EPA estimates that 72 million people in America live within 200 meters of a truck freight route, and people of color and those with lower incomes are more likely to live in those areas.

You can read the full comments here and the white paper here.

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One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org) creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 3 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @EnvDefenseFund