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EPA Proposes Stricter Emissions Rules for Heavy Trucks

Earlier this month the EPA proposed its first nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions restriction for heavy-duty trucks since 2001. The proposal would require cutting 90% NOx emission by 2045, when compared to current emission standards. If implemented, the regulation would take effect in 2027. According to the EPA, the rules would dramatically improve air quality and could reduce up to 2,100 fewer premature deaths and 3.1 fewer cases of asthma symptoms.

Although most heavy truck engines manufactured after 2010 emit approximately 30 times less NOx than prior models, the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association estimates that only about half of the fleet utilizes the newer, lower-emitting engines. Therefore, the proposed rule change will likely result in significant costs to manufacturers, which the EPA estimates could fall between $19 billion to $31 billion through 2045. These costs will include retrofitting or outright replacement of exhaust-treatment systems needed to meet the new standards. However, the EPA also estimates that the net benefits could be upwards of $220 billion to the country as a whole (largely presumed to be in the form of health care costs).