Trailer group pushes for pause of Phase 2 trailer regs

The Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association (TTMA) last week requested the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals in D.C. suspend planned enforcement of EPA Greenhouse Gas Phase 2 (GHG2) with regard to trailers, citing the EPA’s prior agreement that further rule making is needed.

In April, TTMA requested the trailer initiative be paused, specifically questioning the EPA’s authority to regulate trailers under the Clean Air Act. The trailer group asked the EPA to issue an administrative stay, effectively shelving enforcement until the details until legal clarity and further research was added.

While the EPA agreed with many of TTMA’s points in a letter to the group in August, the environmental agency declined to issue a stay. Last week, TTMA made the same request of the federal court, citing complications fulfilling customer orders amid the uncertainty.

“Some TTMA members currently cannot commit to completed trailer orders to prospective customers for delivery after January 1, 2018,” the agency claims in its filings.

As currently written, GHG2 for trailers is scheduled to phase in every three years beginning in 2018.

Effective next year, aerodynamic fairings would be required on van and refrigerated trailers, while low-rolling-resistance tires and tire-inflation or tire-monitoring systems would be required on all trailers.

TTMA says they have received letters from both EPA and NHTSA stating that they have reviewed petitions for reconsideration of the new greenhouse gas regulations for heavy-duty trailers and each agree that further rule making is needed.

“In light of the significant issues raised, the agency has decided to revisit the Phase 2 trailer and glider provisions,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says. “We intend to initiate a rule making process that incorporates the latest technical data and is wholly consistent with our authority under the Clean Air Act.”

The current EPA regulations, the trailer group argues, would actually result in more miles driven. The group claims the weight of mandated GHG2 aero-equipment would increase trailer weight, “and in many instances this would require that some cargo be removed from the trailer and transported on a different trailer.”

Glider manufacturers, specifically Harrison Truck Centers and Fitzgerald, made similar points about the EPA’s authority to enforce standards on gliders since they are neither motorized, nor-self propelled via the nature of their assembly process.