EPA Proposes New Rules to Cut Heavy-Duty Truck and Bus Emissions

Trucks might be one of the most popular vehicles right now, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is cracking down. The government is aiming for heavy-duty trucks and vehicles that create a significant amount of pollution on the roads. Along with changes in emissions standards, the government wants to create safer roadways for all drivers.

Heavy-duty trucks are on the Environmental Protection Agency’s radar

The EPA takes aim at heavy-duty truck and bus emissions
Heatwaves emanate from the exhaust pipe of a city transit bus | David McNew/Getty Images

According to Automotive News, the EPA is setting its sights on reducing “smog-forming and greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty vehicles.” The agency proposed to cut nitrogen oxide emissions from 47% to 60% on heavy-duty trucks by 2045. These new standards would come into play for 2027 model year vehicles to make that deadline.

Similarly, the Transportation Department plans to use $1.5 billion to help state and local governments purchase electric busses and other low-emissions vehicles. 35 state transit agencies in the county will also receive another $2.2 billion in funds. That will jump-start the changes at a smaller and more manageable level.

The government wants to update heavy-duty trucks such as commercial delivery trucks, short-haul tractors, school buses, and transit busses. These heavy-duty trucks, busses, and tractors tend to contribute a significant amount to everyday emissions on the road.

Heavy-duty trucks and busses make up a lot of emissions on the road every day

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In addition to the nitrogen oxide emissions, the Environmental Protection Agency wants stricter standards for greenhouse gas emissions. EPA Administrator Michael Regan said, “These new standards will drastically cut dangerous pollution by harnessing recent advancements in vehicle technologies from across the trucking industry as it advances toward a zero-emissions transportation future.”

These new changes would help improve air quality dramatically. If the government finalized these more stringent rules, the EPA thinks there could be 3.1 million fewer asthma symptoms and health issues. Plus, it could prevent “up to 2,100 fewer premature deaths.” Since these are separate initiatives from the previously mentioned nitrogen oxide emissions, the Environmental Protection Agency hopes to enact these new heavy-duty truck standards by 2030.

Either way, it seems profound changes are coming down the pipeline. The switch to electric vehicles is already underway, and these heavy-duty trucks and other vehicles are next up.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is working on a new national roadway safety strategy

In another strategy recently revealed from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Automotive News reports the steps being taken for safer roads. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, “when it comes to roadway deaths, we have a crisis that is urgent, unacceptable, and preventable.” With the changes to vehicle safety and technology, the hope is to make travel safer on U.S. roads.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic deaths were up 18% in the first part of 2021. That is the most significant number of fatalities in the country since 2016. This new national roadway safety strategy is just one step toward having fewer fatalities on the roads.

The new infrastructure law provides $14 billion in funding for road safety. $4 billion of that will be used on crash data collection and vehicle safety initiatives. The heavy-duty truck and vehicle emissions changes go hand in hand with these to make the roadways as safe as possible.

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