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Looking Ahead: Future Emission Regulations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are jointly proposing new greenhouse gas (GHG) and fuel-efficiency standards for commercial vehicles. The EPA and the NHTSA released a pre-publication version of the proposal to the public on June 19, and published the official version in the Federal Register on July 13.

Existing standards for commercial vehicles – referred to as Phase 1 standards – first took effect in 2014, and regulate GHG emissions and fuel consumption for engines, on-highway tractors, vocational vehicles and heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans. Cummins was the first to certify its engines to the standards, one year early, in 2013. A second step of Phase 1 engine standards takes effect in 2017.

The recently proposed rule, referred to as Phase 2, would set new standards for engines, tractors and vocational vehicles in 2021, 2024 and 2027 and new annual standards for pickups and vans from 2021 through 2027. Trailers would be regulated beginning in 2018.

By 2027, the proposed standards would achieve the following reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and fuel consumption compared to Phase 1:

  • 4 percent on engines
  • 18 percent to 24 percent on tractors
  • 3 percent to 8 percent on trailers
  • 12 percent to 16 percent on vocational vehicles
  • 16 percent on pickups and vans

The agencies will hold public hearings and accept written comments in response to the proposal before finalizing the rule during the first half of 2016. The deadline for written comments is Sept. 17, 2015. “We are looking forward to reviewing the proposal and working with the agencies and other stakeholders to make sure that both the customers and the environment benefit,” said Rich Freeland, President and Chief Operating Officer – Cummins Inc.

More information can be found online at epa.gov/otaq/climate/regs-heavy-duty.htm.

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