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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

ATA Concerned Revisiting EPA Phase 2 Rule Could Cause Problems

With compliance dates coming in 2018, many in the industry considered the EPA greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency rules affecting trailers and glider kits to be a settled matter.

However, the manufacturers of those products have argued that the EPA lacks authority to regulate them under the Clean Air Act because their products are not self-propelled “motor vehicles. Because of the concerns raised, the EPA has announced it will revisit Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards.

American Trucking Associations officials said they were concerned that by moving to reopen the second phase of its Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty rule, the Environmental Protection Agency could be setting the stage for California to impose a de facto national standard, superseding federal rules.

“ATA is proud of our record on fuel efficiency and sustainability,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “In large part due to our support for Phase 1 of the EPA’s greenhouse gas rule, today’s new trucks are cleaner and more efficient than ever. We had worked closely with EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Phase 2 to continue building on that success, but by reopening the rule to reexamine trailers and glider kits, EPA has opened the door to California taking the lead, and a more aggressive track, in setting trailer standards.

“As representatives of an interstate industry,” Spear said, “ATA believes a single national standard, set by federal regulators, is preferable to at worst, a patchwork of state standards or at best, a de facto national standard that is set without the appropriate opportunity for the entire regulated community – many members of which are not based in California – to weigh in.”

“As we have done over the entire course in developing the Phase 2 Rule, we will continue to work closely with both EPA and NHTSA as they reopen and consider changes to the final rule” said Glen Kedzie, ATA vice president and energy and environmental counsel.

For nearly a decade, ATA has supported improvements in fuel efficiency through our support of the EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership, the establishment of an ATA Sustainability Task Force and subsequent creation of the Fuel Efficiency Advisory Committee. That advisory committee laid out 15 principles for the Phase 2 rule, all of which were met.

“The trucking industry will invest in fuel efficiency technologies that are robustly tested, affordable and that show real, measurable results,” Kedzie said. “We encourage regulators in Washington, D.C., and California to take concerns like feasibility, durability and other operational issues into account when evaluating these technologies.”