WASHINGTON (March 29, 2024) — Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles, Phase 3 standard.

These standards will avoid 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from heavy duty vehicles, including trucks and school buses, by 2055 by setting standards for model-year 2027 through 2032, complementing the recently-released standards for passenger vehicles. In the U.S., heavy-duty vehicles make up four percent of the vehicles on roads today but account for over a quarter of all transportation sector GHG emissions. The transportation sector as a whole accounts for the largest portion (29%) of all U.S. GHG emissions. These vehicles also produce harmful pollutants that affect local air quality and health, especially for those living near highways, freight hubs, ports and depots, which are more likely to be lower-income people of color.

Children are particularly vulnerable to pollution from heavy duty vehicles, including diesel pollution from 90% of the nation’s school bus fleet which presents health and developmental dangers to students, drivers, and communities.

Following is a statement from Sue Gander, Director, World Resources Institute’s Electric School Bus Initiative:

“This new standard will allow children who ride diesel-powered school buses, truck drivers who move goods across the country, and the communities living near highways, depots and ports to breathe easier.

“Alongside this standard, the federal government has made billions of dollars available to support the transition to zero-emission trucks and buses, moving us closer to a future where these vehicles don’t worsen the climate crisis and our health. The momentum is already building: Companies are manufacturing cleaner trucks and buses, school districts are showing high demand for electric buses, and states are advancing smart policies to speed up the adoption of cleaner trucks and buses.

“This is a step forward for America’s transportation policy. Policymakers should keep their foot on the accelerator to speed the transition to clean trucks and buses that provide communities better air and students a healthier ride to school. This includes continuing to provide support for charging infrastructure and access to technical assistance, workforce training and funding and financing.”