Testimony on New Emissions Standards: Timeframe Among Primary Concerns

October 11, 2015 by Carina Ockedahl, @Ockis9

Back in June, the Obama Administration proposed strict new emissions standards that would impact medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The Wall Street Journal says federal regulators are now listening to testimony and are trying to figure out how best to implement the rules in order to reduce pollution and save fleets money.

According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, both The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration created the new standards that, based on US Trucker News, are designed to cut carbon-dioxide emissions and fuel consumption by up to 24 percent by 2021 for trucks, and 8 percent by 2018 for trailers.

Many speakers at the mid-September hearing supported the new rules, viewing the long-term effects of reduced fuel costs as a winning scenario for both truckers and the EPA. However, as is often the case, the devil lies in the details — and the details are how the standards should be implemented.

The main issue, as argued by industry leaders, is a crunched timeframe combined with a costly initial investment in new equipment and technology. Supply chain managers and transportation industry advocates are pushing for financial incentives, and requesting a more reasonable timeframe in order to meet the tough new rules. In addition, The Wall Street Journal says the need for a consistent approach to the regulations countrywide has been voiced.

Environmental groups, on the other hand, view the situation differently; TruckerNews.com says groups are asking for earlier target dates, tougher standards, and an emphasis on hybrid and fuel cell technology. Other speakers showed concern over the EPA, NHTSA, and Administrative Review Board’s alignment on the issue, and how this might reflect on the pending requirements.

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