EPA hosting public hearing on proposed Phase 3 GHG regs

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Updated Apr 17, 2023

The Environmental Protection Agency announced in a Federal Register notice to be published Monday, April 17, that it will host a public hearing on its latest proposed emissions regulations on heavy-duty trucks.

A two-day virtual public hearing to be held May 2-3, on EPA’s proposal titled, “Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles – Phase 3.” An additional session may be held on May 4 if necessary to accommodate more testifiers, the agency noted.

The White House last week, as part of EPA's Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Phase 3 plan, directed the EPA to seek a technology-neutral approach that by 2032 could electrify 67% of new light-duty cars and trucks as well as electrifying 50% of vocational vehicles like buses and waste haulers; 35% of new short-haul regional tractors; and 25% of new long-haul trucks.

[Related: Trucking orgs tee off on Biden's zero emission plan]

In its proposal, EPA is proposing new GHG standards for heavy-duty highway vehicles starting in model year 2028 through MY 2032 and to revise certain GHG standards for MY 2027 that were established previously under EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles - Phase 2 rule.

As Part of Phase 2, EPA enacted tractor standards for model year 2027 requiring at least 25% lower carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption than a 2017 model year Phase 1 tractor. This can be achieved, the agencies said, through improvements in the engine, transmission, driveline, aerodynamic design, tire rolling resistance, idle performance or other aspects of the tractor.

To register to speak at the virtual hearing or attend the hearing, including those who do not intend to provide testimony, EPA asks to be notified by April 26, preferably by email to [email protected]. Instructions and a link to join the hearing will be provided via email to all participants that register.

Each speaker will have a maximum of three minutes to provide oral testimony. EPA may ask clarifying questions during the oral presentations but will not respond to the presentations at that time.

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Trucking's emission regs top of mind

No topic in transportation has arguably been hotter than emissions since the end of last year. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in December updated emission standards for heavy-duty commercial vehicles for the 2027 model year, tightening tailpipe NOx limits to a level 80%-plus below the current standard and reducing the particulate matter limit by 50%. The agency also will require that OEMs extend warranties to 450,000 miles from 100,000 and useful life limits to 650,000 miles from 435,000 miles.

The Biden administration last month cleared the way for California to require that half of all heavy trucks sold in the state be fully electric by 2035 â€“ the first such mandate in the world.