Weekly Compliance Digest – GHG Standards For Heavy-Duty Engines & Vehicles

March 11, 2016 By
In this edition of the Weekly Compliance Digest, we cover the proposed Phase 2 Heavy-Duty National Program in the U.S. Last week, the EPA published a notice providing an opportunity to comment on new information being made available by the EPA and the NHTSA.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards: Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles, Phase 2

What is it?

On June 19, 2015, the U.S. EPA and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) jointly proposed a national program that would establish the next phase of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The objectives of the “Phase 2″ of the program are to significantly reduce carbon emissions and improve the fuel efficiency of heavy-duty vehicles.

As part of the Climate Action Plan announced in June 2013, the U.S. President had directed the EPA and the NHTSA to set the next round of standards to reduce GHG emissions and improve fuel efficiency for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and engines.

Phase 1 of the program implements GHG and fuel efficiency standards for model year 2014-2018 heavy-duty vehicles, and is currently half-way through its implementation. The proposed Phase 2 program goes beyond Phase 1, and sets performance-based standards that would reach well into the next decade. The proposed standards would be met through wider deployment of existing and advanced technologies, the EPA says.

Who is affected?

The Proposed Rule potentially affects companies that manufacture, sell, or import into the U.S. new heavy-duty engines and new Class 2b through 8 trucks, including combination tractors, all types of buses, vocational vehicles including municipal, commercial, recreational vehicles, and commercial trailers as well as 3/4-ton and 1-ton pickup trucks and vans. The heavy-duty category incorporates all motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 pounds or greater, and the engines that power them, except for medium-duty passenger vehicles already covered by the greenhouse gas standards and corporate average fuel economy standards issued for light-duty model year 2017-2025 vehicles. Proposed categories and entities that may be affected include the following:

  • Motor Vehicle Manufacturers
  • Engine Manufacturers
  • Engine Parts Manufacturers
  • Truck Manufacturers
  • Truck Trailer Manufacturers
  • Automotive Parts and Accessories Dealers
  • Commercial Importers of Vehicles and Vehicle Components
  • Alternative Fuel Vehicle Converters

What are the requirements?

The Phase 2 standards cover model years 2021-2027, and apply to semi-trucks, pickup trucks, and all types and sizes of buses and work trucks. Standards for trailers would start in model year 2018.

Phase 2 includes new, more stringent standards for the same classes of heavy-duty vehicles currently regulated through model year 2018 and beyond under Phase 1. It also includes the first ever CO2 and fuel efficiency standards for certain trailers used with heavy-duty combination tractors. The EPA’s proposed CO2 emissions standards and the NHTSA’s proposed fuel consumption standards are tailored to each of four regulatory categories of heavy-duty vehicles:

  1. Combination Tractors
  2. Trailers Pulled by Combination Tractors
  3. Heavy-duty Pickup Trucks and Vans
  4. Vocational Vehicles which include all other heavy-duty vehicles such as buses, refuse trucks, and concrete mixers.

The proposal also includes separate standards for the engines that power combination tractors and vocational vehicles.

Click here for more information on the proposed CO2 and fuel consumption standards.

What is next?

On March 2, 2016, the EPA published a notice of data availability. Comments must be received on or before April 1, 2016 on new information placed in the EPA’s and the NHTSA’s public dockets. The information includes raw data, revised test reports, and memoranda that in some instances indicate potential implications of the data for purposes of standard stringency and implementation. In addition to information placed into the docket by the agencies, the EPA also solicits comments on issues discussed in a late public comment that addresses proposed regulations related to light-duty motor vehicles used for racing.

Visit Enablon Insights again next Friday for a brand new Weekly Compliance Digest!

Categories: EHS

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