Today’s Pickup: Engine makers object to EPA revisiting Phase 2 GHG rules

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Good day,

The recent news that the Environmental Protection Agency plans to revisit some portions of its Phase 2 greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency rules for medium- and heavy-duty on-highway trucks and engines has raised concern with the Truck and Engine Manufacturer’s Association (EMA).

EPA said it will review the rules as they pertain to trailers and glider kits to see whether they support the rulemaking announced under the Obama administration.

“In light of the significant issues raised, the agency has decided to revisit the Phase 2 trailer and glider provisions. We intend to initiate a rulemaking process that incorporates the latest technical data and is wholly consistent with our authority under the Clean Air Act,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in making the announcement.

While the announcement made no mention of altering other portions of the rules as they pertain to engines and tractors, EMA is worried that any review and changes will alter the landscape.

“As the primary manufacturers of medium- and heavy-duty engines and vehicles in the United States, EMA members provided tremendous technical input to EPA and NHTSA in the development of the Phase 2 rules, based on our experience implementing the Phase 1 requirements,” stated Jed Mandel, EMA president. “EMA members strongly support a uniform, nationwide program to apply regulatory controls to the greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency of the heavy-duty products they produce. The collaborative rulemaking approach that EPA and NHTSA used to develop the Phase 2 rules is fostering the adoption of an aligned program by the California Air Resources Board. Aligning the heavy-duty on-highway greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency regulations across the United States is the only way for manufacturers to effectively meet the needs of their customers in the nation’s trucking industry.”

Mandel added that California is using the Phase 2 rules as a guide forward on state-specific policies/

“Right now, the regulators in California are in the process of developing their Phase 2 greenhouse gas rules and truck and engine manufacturers have significant concerns that reopening the federal rules could lead to the promulgation of different requirements across the nation,” he said, adding that EMA members have already begun investing “considerable resources to develop products that will achieve the complex and stringent new standards beginning in 2021 and are concerned that changes to the rules could reduce necessary leadtime and regulatory certainty. “An aligned, nationwide program is essential to the success of the Phase 1 greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency rules, and that alignment becomes even more crucial for the technology-forcing Phase 2 program.”

Did you know?

According to the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association, the average owner-operator is 55 years old, became an owner-operator at the age of 37 and has been in the trucking industry for 26 years.

Quotable:

“The 2016 proposed rule consisted of a modest, common-sense approach to combating fatigue on our roads and rails: require testing for obstructive sleep apnea if a problematic symptom is observed. We strongly believe that DOT should immediately reconsider the decision in order to help avoid future fatigue-related tragedies.”

- Statement from New York and New Jersey Senators asking the DOT why it withdrew a proposed sleep apnea testing rule

In other news:

Eclipse recovery may take a couple of days

With shippers shutting down or delaying shipments, carriers rerouting trucks, and general congestion due to the eclipse, it may take a couple of days before trucking operations return to normal.  (Wall Street Journal)

Expenses higher, revenues drop for many carriers

The majority of the carriers reporting second-quarter results showed higher expenses and lower revenues and income, according to an analysis of the results. (CCJ)

Trailer makers pleased with review of GHG rule

News that the EPA will review its greenhouse gas Phase 2 rules as they pertain to trailers and glider kits has been met positively by trailer manufacturers. (Heavy Duty Trucking)

Autonomous trucks will alter interiors

As autonomous truck designs continue to advance, one benefit is likely to be a more spacious and comfortable interior. (Trucks.com)

The limited shipping options for smaller shippers

Large shippers have plenty of options for moving their products, but where can smaller shippers turn when they have goods to move? (Supply Chain Brain)

Final Thoughts

The EPA review of its Phase 2 greenhouse gas rules as they pertain to trailers and glider kits may seem like a simply process, but manufacturers of engines and trucks have been busy investing millions into creating the most fuel-efficient vehicles possible that meet the rules. A lengthy review period could lead to increased costs due to compressed timeframes and possibly less efficient vehicles.

Hammer down everyone!