The EPA started the new year off with a move it says will ultimately reduce the emissions of gases that contribute heavily to air pollution, including the formation of smog and acid rain.

On January 6, 2020, the agency issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rule (ANPR) soliciting pre-proposal comments on the Cleaner Trucks Initiative (CTI).

Trucks are big NOx emitters

Heavy-duty vehicles are the largest contributor to mobile source emissions of NOx – nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide. The CTI rule currently being developed will update NOx standards for on-highway heavy-duty trucks and engines, something which hasn't been done since 2001.

According to the EPA’s website; “We have an opportunity to modernize the requirements to better reflect the capability of available emissions control technologies. In particular, emissions standards have lowered overall NOx emissions from heavy-duty trucks, but have not focused on emission control under low-load conditions—when trucks are at idle, moving slowly, or in stop-and-go traffic.”

The Cleaner Trucks Initiative will work to ensure emissions reductions occur in the real world in all types of truck operation. Notably, this rulemaking offers opportunities to reduce ambient particulate matter and ozone across the country by reducing NOx pollution from heavy-duty trucks.

Leveraging new technologies

The EPA says it is also exploring ways to develop a smart program design that leverages modern and advanced technologies, while streamlining existing requirements.

The CTI comes in response to petitions the agency received in 2016 from over 20 organizations including state and local air agencies from across the country calling for a rulemaking to address heavy-duty NOx.

EPA Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker and Georgia Motor Trucking Association President & CEO Ed Crowell will hold an event tomorrow in Marietta, Georgia to jumpstart the Cleaner Trucks Initiative in the Southeast.