EDF Welcomes EPA’s Important Clean Trucks Plan and Urges Swift Action

Plan is a Vital Opportunity to Eliminate Pollution from Freight Trucks and Buses for Millions of People, Save Truckers and Fleets Money, Grow Jobs

December 20, 2022
Sharyn Stein, 202-905-5718, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – December 20, 2022) EPA announced its Clean Trucks Plan today – a series of actions the agency will take to reduce dangerous pollution from new freight trucks and buses.

“EPA’s Clean Trucks Plan helps give America’s children the gift of cleaner air and healthier lives. EPA’s Clean Trucks Plan includes a series of vitally important steps to help ensure cleaner air and a safer climate for millions of people, save truckers and fleets money, and create more American jobs,” said Vickie Patton, General Counsel for Environmental Defense Fund, who attended today’s announcement. “The plan announced today includes long-awaited final emissions standards for nitrogen oxides pollution that will significantly reduce this deadly pollutant and ultimately save thousands of lives and prevent numerous serious illnesses every year.”

“It is also vitally important that EPA move forward swiftly to recognize protective state standards adopted by California and numerous other states and move swiftly to issue a new generation of climate and air pollution standards that recognize 21st century solutions for new model year 2027 and later vehicles – standards that leverage the Inflation Reduction Act’s game-changing investments in zero-emitting trucks,” said Patton. “American manufacturers, fleets, workers and communities are seizing the historic Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation investments in zero-emitting trucks and buses to innovate, altogether eliminate the pollution from rolling smokestacks, and lead our nation to a healthier and brighter future. Taken together, EPA’s suite of clean air actions for America can help eliminate harmful pollution from freight trucks and buses while creating jobs and economic opportunity.”

Medium and heavy-duty vehicles like freight trucks and buses are just 10% of all the vehicles on our roads, but they are responsible for the majority of health-harming pollution from the transportation sector, including nitrogen oxides (NOx) pollution. The new, stronger standards for NOx pollution that EPA just finalized will apply to new medium and heavy-duty diesel vehicles in model years 2027 and later. In addition to strengthening the standards for those vehicles, EPA also finalized new, modernized test procedures, and warranty and useful life requirements that will help ensure the standards more fully reduce emissions from in-use operations. In all EPA estimates these new, stronger NOx standards will keep more than 400,000 tons of pollution out of our air and will prevent almost 3,000 deaths and numerous hospitalizations and respiratory illnesses each year by 2045.

EPA’S Clean Truck Plan also includes a commitment for prompt action on California’s request for a Clean Air Act preemption waiver for the state’s vital Clean Truck Standards. The state standards reflect California’s longstanding leadership in reducing harmful transportation sector pollution and accelerating the deployment of zero-emission vehicles to achieve cleaner, healthier air for millions of people all across the Golden State. Several other states have adopted California’s protections and additional states are poised to do so, as long provided for under our nation’s clean air laws that expressly recognize and value state leadership and innovation in protecting human health and the environment.

EPA’s Clean Trucks Plan also includes a commitment to move forward with proposed standards for new vehicles sold in model year 2027 and later that fully leverage investments in the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation to help ensure the rapid deployment of zero-emitting trucks and buses. Those proposed standards are expected this March. EDF has done extensive analysis on the game-changing investments in the Inflation Reduction Act, including work that shows how the law’s tax credits for purchasing clean trucks, infrastructure investments, and manufacturing support dramatically accelerate price-parity for zero-emitting vehicles and thus will help truckers and fleets save money. Other recent work documents the billions of dollars companies are spending to manufacture medium and heavy-duty zero-emitting vehicles, the thousands of jobs these investments will support and the rapid development and introduction of new zero-emitting trucks. EPA’s expected proposal represents a vital and urgent opportunity to adopt protective standards, leveraging these historic investments, that are consistent with eliminating pollution from new heavy-duty trucks and buses by 2035.

“EPA’s Clean Trucks Plan can help to speed us toward a zero-emission future for new freight trucks and buses,” said Patton. “Today’s final standards for NOx pollution from diesel freight trucks and buses are an important step toward that future. Now it will be essential for us all to work together to ensure EPA’s next tier of pollution standards be adopted in 2023, and EPA action on California state standards be swift, protective, and durable. That’s what we need to ensure we actually achieve the health, climate, economic and job benefits that today’s vital Clean Truck Plan envisions.”

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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