Biden vetoes effort to kill latest EPA regs

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Trucking news and briefs for Friday, June 16, 2023:

Biden vetoes resolution to kill latest EPA truck emissions regs

President Joe Biden on June 14 vetoed a resolution that passed in the U.S House and Senate that would have nullified the Environmental Protection Agency’s Heavy-Duty Truck Rule that was announced in December and took effect in March.

The rule establishes emission limits for nitrogen oxide (NOx) from commercial trucks beginning with 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 resolution first passed the Senate in April, followed by the House in May.

In vetoing the resolution, Biden said EPA’s rule “cuts pollution, boosts public health, and advances environmental justice in communities across the country. It will prevent hundreds, if not thousands, of premature deaths; thousands of childhood asthma cases; and millions of missed school days every year.”

He added that the resolution would have denied “communities these health benefits by resulting in weaker emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles and engines, which are significant sources of pollutants that threaten public health. If enacted, the resolution would squander $36 billion in benefits to society -- and an opportunity to lead on the defining crisis of our time.”

[Related: Doomsday emissions regulations]

TCA names 2023 Safety Professional of the Year

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has awarded TransPro Freight Systems’ Director of Safety, Michael Frolick, as its 2023 TCA Safety Professional of the Year Award winner. The announcement was made during TCA’s 42nd Annual Safety & Security Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. TransPro is a subsidiary of Kriska Transportation Group (CCJ Top 250, No. 242).

This honor is bestowed upon a trucking industry professional whose actions and achievements have made a profound contribution to enhancing safety on North America’s highways.

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Frolick started working on the docks part time while in high school in his teenage years. When he turned 19, he obtained his Class A CDL. He drove for 22 years in both Canada and the U.S., amassing 1.5 million collision-free over-the-road miles. Near the end of his driving career, he started helping to do logbooks, road evaluations and forklift training with his company. Before he left, he became the Toronto Regional Truck Driving Grand Champion.

From there, he became the safety manager for a local cartage company before moving onto TransPro Freight Systems, where he has been Director of Safety & Compliance for the last 16 years. Frolick has played key roles in numerous councils and committees over the years and currently is on the Board of Directors Executive Committee for the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association.

Through his leadership and commitment to safety, he has left a lasting impact on the transportation industry, TCA said, ensuring the well-being of drivers and promoting a culture of safety within organizations.

“We at KTG, and specifically TransPro, are extremely proud of Mike and for his accomplishment,” said Kriska Transportation Group President & CEO Mark Seymour. “Mike epitomizes what this recognition highlights. His loyalty and commitment to the craft has been unwavering for years. We consider ourselves winners too as we have Mike on our team. Congratulations, Mike.”

Arkansas Trucking Association gives diesel tech scholarships to two students

Two graduating Arkansas high school seniors have been selected to receive scholarships from the Arkansas Trucking Association.

Bass Burroughs of Mt. Vernon, Arkansas, and William Warren of Floral, Arkansas, are both planning to attend Arkansas State University – Beebe, Searcy campus this fall to pursue careers in medium- and heavy-duty truck technology. Each of the students will receive a $7,500 scholarship from the Carl Tapp Memorial Scholarship Fund to aid in their education and training.

“Trucking is at the forefront of many evolving technologies like autonomous vehicles and collision-mitigation systems. It is critical that we continue to recruit new talent who can not only keep our trucks moving safely down the road, but also equip us for what’s next,” said Shannon Newton, president, Arkansas Trucking Association. “I am honored to welcome Bass and William to our industry and look forward to watching them lead us into the future. Our industry is over a century old, but what we do and what we deliver today is still as relevant as it was a hundred years ago.”

Burroughs graduated from Mt. Vernon-Enola High School in May. While in high school, he participated in a concurrent enrollment at ASU-Beebe, Searcy campus and began earning credits in their diesel technician program. He was also involved in baseball and FFA, and enjoys hunting and fishing in his free time. Burroughs plans to continue his education at ASU-Beebe, Searcy this fall.

Like Burroughs, Warren began concurrent courses in the ASU-Beebe, Searcy campus diesel technician program while enrolled in high school. He graduated in May from Pangburn High School and will continue to pursue a degree this fall. While in high school, Warren played basketball and worked as a server at Pizza Hut. 

The Arkansas Trucking Association’s Maintenance & Technology Council established the Carl Tapp Memorial Scholarship Fund to celebrate Carl Tapp, the council’s first chairman, and his career-long commitment to nurturing new talent in the industry. The fund is intended to enable and encourage growth in the state’s diesel technician workforce and to help assure that the safest, most knowledgeable and skilled technicians are working on the trucks and trailers on our nation’s roads.