Ceres Commends EPA for Acting on Federal Truck Emissions; Urges Increased Ambition

Mar 7, 2022 5:30 PM ET
Campaign: Policy
bus driving down a highway

March 7, 2022 /3BL Media/ - The federal clean truck standards proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today represent a key step in the agency’s efforts to tackle the climate crisis and its ongoing threats to public health. However, EPA must now take steps to strengthen these standards and accelerate future planned rulemakings on vehicle emissions to address the crisis at the level of urgency it requires.

“We cannot afford to miss this moment to act,” said Carol Lee Rawn, senior director of transportation at the nonprofit sustainability Ceres. “We call on EPA to immediately set standards that will accelerate the electrification of heavy-duty vehicles. Today’s proposed standards represent a good first step, but we need to strengthen them as well as accelerate the rulemaking for the next round of standards to ensure rapid electrification of the sector. For too long, the health of families near ports, distribution centers, and highways have suffered the impact of diesel pollution, a burden that falls disproportionately on low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.”

Rawn added, “The climate crisis is advancing at an alarming rate, and we need federal standards that will move the truck industry rapidly toward clean and zero-emission vehicles at the speed the crisis requires. And, as countries across the world move toward electrified transport, we need clean transportation policies that will support the U.S. truck industry in making that transition quickly to ensure its global competitiveness.”

The proposed standards announced today would reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides from heavy-duty gasoline and diesel engines and set stricter greenhouse gas emissions standards for some commercial vehicle categories, beginning in model year 2027. The Biden administration also announced billions of dollars of investments to electrify school buses and public transit and lower emissions from ports. EPA will be taking comments on the proposed rule for 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register.

Medium-and-heavy duty vehicles make up just 5% of vehicles on the road in the U.S., but they are responsible for about 24% of all vehicle greenhouse gas emissions, and total emissions from heavy-duty vehicles are expected to surpass those of passenger vehicles by 2030. Diesel trucks are responsible for $58 billion in air pollution damages each year, disproportionately impacting low-income areas and communities of color.

“Clean, zero emission trucks will reduce operating costs, including the impact of volatile fuel prices,” added Rawn “Congress, too, can build on this momentum by passing a budget reconciliation bill with urgently needed, historic clean transportation investments that will further accelerate electrification with incentives for purchasing, charging, and manufacturing. There is no time to wait – EPA a must pursue bold policies that will address the devastating health and climate impacts of heavy-duty vehicles.”

About Ceres

Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.

Media Contact: Mara Abbott, mabbott@ceres.org, 617-247-0700 ext. 250