WASHINGTON (March 7, 2022)—Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new standards to promote clean air and reduce pollution from heavy-duty vehicles and engines starting in model year (MY) 2027. The “Clean Trucks Standards” are designed to decrease emissions from new heavy-duty vehicles and will play a critical role in fulfilling the Biden administration’s pledge to slash the United States’ total greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. 

 The proposed standards would reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from heavy duty trucks by as much as 60% in 2045 and would set updated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for subsectors where electrification is advancing at a more rapid pace, including school buses, transit buses, commercial delivery trucks, and short-haul tractors.  

In addition to the climate impacts, toxic pollution from heavy-duty vehicles threatens public health and disproportionately affects communities of color and low-income communities located near highways, ports and transportation depots. The rule will also provide important benefits for America's children and, according to EPA estimates, result in 1.1 million fewer lost school days. Heavy-duty vehicles are major players in the U.S. transport sector as they currently contribute 23% of transport sector greenhouse gas emissions

Next year, EPA is also expected to announce stronger emissions standards for medium-duty commercial vehicles for MY 2027 as well as more stringent GHG standards for heavy-duty vehicles beginning as soon as MY 2030 that are significantly stronger than the MY 2027 GHG standards. These new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle standards will complement the stronger light duty passenger vehicle standards finalized by the Biden administration last December

Following is a statement from Dan Lashof, Director, WRI United States: 

“Today the Biden administration flexed its regulatory muscles to strengthen emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks that spew tons of toxic pollutants into our communities each day. With transportation being America’s number one source of carbon pollution, the importance of these standards cannot be overstated. They are an essential tool to tackle U.S. emissions and meet the nation’s 2030 climate target.   

“It is important for EPA to finalize the most ambitious regulations that are technically and economically feasible. With rapid advances in transportation electrification, from commercially available makes and models on everything from electric school buses and transit buses to electric delivery trucks and refuse trucks, we have viable solutions at hand. 

“Transitioning to zero-emission heavy- and light-duty vehicles offers a plethora of benefits, while providing relief from the volatility of gas prices that are hurting everyday Americans. 

“The new rules are a major step forward for the United States in its effort to address climate change, boost public health, save consumers money at the pump and reduce inequities. Congress should complement these standards and the investments made last year through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law by passing a robust climate and energy-focused budget package that will unlock billions more in funding for electric vehicles as well as their charging infrastructure and workforce trainings to speed the transition to all-electric fleets.”