U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) led 33 of senators in introducing legislation to overturn a regulation on heavy-duty vehicle emissions that Fischer says will be challenging to implement, and make new compliant trucks cost prohibitive for small business owners.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s rule, finalized in December 2022, and to go into effect on March 27, covers nitrogen oxides (NOx) and other air pollutants including particulate matter (PM), hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide (CO). The rule would also change requirements regarding emission control systems and emission-related warranties.
Fischer says the “onerous regulation” would “jack up vehicle costs.”
“This aggressive EPA rule – which will hit mom and pop truck operations the hardest – is also ineffective because it incentivizes operators to keep using older, higher-emitting trucks for longer,” she wrote in a press release. “During a period of high inflation and supply chain disruptions, the last thing this country needs is more expensive freight costs and fewer truckers.”
She says the Biden Administration has an “obsession with excessive climate regulations.”
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“We’ve already made significant progress over the past few decades in reducing heavy vehicle emission, but the administration insists on imposing additional rules to achieve unrealistic reductions at a massive cost to small business owners. This overreaching, inflexible rule is costly and impractical,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), one of the cosponsors of the resolution.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association also opposed the original rule.
“If small business truckers can’t afford the new, compliant trucks, they’re going to stay with older, less efficient trucks, or leave the industry entirely. Once again, EPA has largely ignored the warnings and concerns raised by truckers in this latest rule,” said OOIDA President Todd Spencer.
President of Clark Freight Lines in Pasadena, Texas, Danny Schnautz says these types of regulations have a negative impact on equipment.
“The prior years of over-ambitious emission standards have already created unreliable equipment for many years and even driven one of the primary engine manufacturers out of the on-road industry. These ongoing emission systems failures are devastating,” he said.