A federal appeals court on Friday granted a petition filed by the manufacturers of semi-truck trailers to temporarily halt new emissions standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency until further review by the agency.
The latest round of greenhouse gas emissions standards would have required trailer manufacturers to abide by strict new design standards, starting in January.
However, the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association, or TTMA, located in Gainesville, Va., argued in its petition filed late last year that the EPA had overstepped its statutory authority because trailers produce no emissions.
“We are pleased with the court’s decision and we are eagerly awaiting the EPA’s review of the rules,” Jeff Sims, president of the trailer manufacturers trade group, told Trucks.com.
In August, the EPA announced its plan to revisit the emission rules on trailers, as well as glider kits, which allow big-rig owners to reuse many of the major components and engines from existing vehicles.
“We intend to develop and issue a Federal Register notice of proposed rule-making on this matter, consistent with the requirements of the Clean Air Act,” said Scott Pruitt, administrator at the EPA, at the time.
The TTMA argued in its petition that trailers should not be included in the Phase 2 rules because the Clean Air Act refers to a motor vehicle as being self-propelled, which trailers are not.
However, some groups disagree with the court’s ruling to temporarily halt the Phase 2 rules for truck trailer manufacturers.
“This is a short-sighted decision by the D.C. Court of Appeals that leaves us at greater risk of climate change,” said Michelle Robinson, director of the clean vehicles program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.