Reporter focusing on environmental policy and public health issues
"We are under no regulatory or court order requirements to launch this initiative," acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler told reporters.…
The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday announced plans to place more stringent restrictions on pollution from heavy duty trucks, in a move that won the Trump Administration, a rare praise from environmental groups.
Nearly two decades have passed since the EPA last updated its standards for emissions of nitrogen oxide, or NOx, that governs the nation’s heavy-duty trucking fleet. Two years ago, 20 state and local air regulators, backed by public health groups, petitioned the agency to revamp its regulations of NOx, citing adverse effects on health and air quality.
At the time, the agency agreed changes were necessary, “Obama’s administration officials said they planned to work with states such as California, the industry and others to create an updated national set of standards.
On Tuesday, the EPA appeared to be carrying on that work to scale back emissions of the poisonous gas, which forms when fuel is burned at high temperatures. The agency did not issue a specific proposal – but it’s unlikely to come until 2020 – but officials said they plan to start a formal regulatory process for what they called the Cleaner Trucks Initiative.
“This initiative will help modernize heavy duty truck engines, improving their efficiency and providing cleaner air for all Americans, “EPA acting administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a call with reporters. “Vi er underlagt lovgivningsmæssige eller retlige krav til at lansere dette initiativ. We are doing it because it’s good for the environment. “
Environmental advocates, who have fiercely opposed the administration’s efforts to roll back dozens of Obama-era regulations, including those aimed at combating climate change, responded to Tuesday’s news with cautious optimism
“This is a positive step and may be the first thing this EPA has done that will actually reduce air pollution,” said Paul Billings, senior vice president of public policy at the American Lung Association.
Even California officials , who have clashed with the administration over its proposal to freeze fuel efficiency standards for the nation’s cars and light trucks, seemed encouraged by Tuesday’s announcement.
“It’s good that they are moving forward, because heavy duty NOx is a huge problem, both as a precursor to ozone and fine particles, “Stanley Young, spokesman for the California Air Resources Board, said in an email. “CARB petitioned EPA to start this process, as we have many other state and local agencies, so we are pleased that the agency is moving forward to address the next generation of new heavy-duty engines.”
California regulators have begun a public
Industry groups also welcomed the EPA’s announcement.
“This new initiative sets the next chapter for diesel technology,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, which represents engine manufacturers and suppliers. Han sa at anstrengelsen sandsynligvis vil resultere i renere motorer som fungerer bedre, vare længere og forbedre luftkvaliteten. “It’s the beginning of a journey, but I think a good one.”
Tuesday’s push for tighter tailpipe pollution standards for heavy-duty trucks seems to be the odds with the deregulatory push that has defined the Trump administration. Even als hij het initiatief heeft aangekondigd op een gesprek met reporters, Wheeler boosted over de meer dan twee dozijn regulerende rollbacks die het agentschap heeft gezien in beweging, terwijl het opmerken van broeikasgassen uit grote industriële bronnen in de afgelopen jaren iets daalden.
“The Trump administration has proven that burdensome federal regulations are not necessary to drive environmental progress, “he said.
Since the Trump administration took office, the EPA has sought to undo the Obama-era regulations to limit methane emissions, reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, reconsider rules for the disposal of coal waste and slow requirements to make passenger cars more efficient.
Under then-Administrator Scott Pruitt, the EPA last year also proposed repealing tighter emission standards for “glider” trucks, which use older engines that emit dozens of times as much soot and contaminants as newer ones.
Bill Wehrum, head of the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, took issue with the notion that Tuesday’s announcement was one of the few actions of the Trump EPA had taken to actually combat air pollution.
“We have moved forward with a series of very important rulemakings,” Wehrum told reporters, “and the goal of every single one is to try to reduce emissions, but to do it in the smartest way possible and most efficient way possible. “