On this date, the Biden administration finalized more stringent emission regulations for heavy-duty vehicles, including buses, delivery vans and trucks, beginning with the model year 2027. This is the first update the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made to its emissions standards since 2001.  

The new rule aims to reduce soot and smog from heavy-duty trucks. It’s 80% tougher than the current regulations as it requires the trucks to cut down nitrogen oxide fuel emissions by about half by 2045.  

Protecting the Environment and Safeguarding Public Health 

According to the agency, the new emission regulations will prevent premature deaths, childhood asthma and hospital admissions among the 72 million people living near truck freight routes in the US. The agency also expects the new regulations to minimize lost days of work and school.  

Buses, large trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles on the roads are far fewer than average household vehicles. Yet, they contribute disproportionately to the total emissions in the transport sector, the largest planet-warming emissions source in the US. Public health and environmental groups are demanding even tougher regulations. They believe the EPA can do more and should fast-track the shift to zero-emissions trucks.  

Spring of 2023, a “Phase 3” of the proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for heavy-duty vehicles from the 2027 model year. Furthermore, in the spring, EPA expects to unveil new proposed emissions standards for light and medium-duty vehicles starting in the model year 2027. 

Mixed Reactions to the New Emission Regulations in the Transport Sector 

In a statement, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) noted these new regulations would negatively impact small businesses and independent drivers as it will be challenging for them to upgrade to newer vehicles compliant with the emission regulations. The association believes EPA has dismissed the concerns of small-scale business truckers, who will face the decision of continuing to use less efficient older trucks or exiting the industry.  

On the other hand, the American Trucking Association (ATA) seems ambivalent. In a statement, ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said that the association is assessing the new standard and how it affects members. Spear says that even though the regulation targets manufacturers, its success or failure is largely a result of fleet sales.  

Since 1988, Spear observed that nitric oxide emissions in the trucking industry have decreased by more than 98%, evidence of its commitment to safeguarding the environment. He concluded that emissions would facilitate this progress only if they’re technologically feasible and promote the use of cost-effective, reliable trucks in fleets.  

The Latest News of Fuel Emissions Regulations 

EPA is optimistic about the benefits of these new emission regulations on the environment and many vulnerable populations. However, reactions within the transport sector vary. For more information on the latest fuel emissions regulations, contact our experts for assistance.