(Washington, D.C. – April 14, 2022) Environmental Defense Fund has joined hundreds of Americans in urging EPA to limit pollution from freight trucks and buses. An EDF expert testified in support of EPA’s proposed standards for those heavy-duty vehicles, and also urged the agency to further strengthen the proposal to ensure substantial deployment of zero-emitting vehicles, as part of a three-day national public hearing.
“Deploying zero-emitting heavy-duty vehicles is critical to reach our health and climate goals. We urge EPA to move forward swiftly with standards that protect human health and the environment for all people and all communities,” said EDF legal fellow Andy Su in his testimony. He also called setting protective standards that reduce harmful diesel pollution and ensure greater deployment of zero-emitting vehicles “actions that will save money for truckers and fleets, strengthen our energy security, and help to support and grow jobs.”
The transportation sector is the largest source of climate pollution in the U.S. Medium and heavy-duty vehicles like delivery trucks and buses are less than ten percent of all the vehicles on our roads, but they are responsible for almost a quarter of all climate pollution and more than half of the smog-forming pollution from the transportation sector. That smog-forming pollution disproportionately harms low-income communities and communities of color. Freight trucks and buses also consume more than 55 billion gallons of fuel annually at a significant cost for truckers and fleets, especially in the face of recent price increases and supply uncertainties related to the volatile global landscape.
EPA has proposed stronger pollution standards for new heavy-duty vehicles starting in 2027. The agency estimates that its most protective proposed standards would prevent up to 2,100 premature deaths and 18,000 cases of asthma in children, and would have benefits that outweigh its costs by billions of dollars.
Su also testified that there is an overwhelming amount of data that supports the feasibility of significant near-term deployment of zero-emitting trucks and buses – vehicles that would substantially increase the health, air quality, and climate benefits EPA’s rule would deliver.
“Major manufacturers have made significant investments to transitioning to [zero-emitting] freight trucks and buses, and truck fleets across the country are making significant commitments to electric heavy-duty trucks,” Su testified. “A recent study by Roush for EDF found that by 2027, many electrified … trucks and school and transit buses will be less expensive on both a first cost and total cost of ownership basis compared to their internal combustion engine counterparts.”
EPA originally planned to hold two days of public hearings about its proposal, but it added a third day because so many people wanted to take part. The hearings will wrap up today.
You can read Su’s entire testimony here.
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