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The Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association filed a federal lawsuit on May 27 alleging that California environmental regulators have not given manufacturers enough time to comply with the state’s tougher new emission standards.
In its lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the EMA alleges that federal clean air law requires manufacturers to have “four full model years” of time before new emission standards come into force.
The manufacturers said the California Air Resources Board gave them only two years.
“On December 22, 2021, CARB adopted the Omnibus Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Regulations, a set of stringent emission standards, test procedures and other emissions-related requirements applicable to new engines and on-road vehicles. heavy sold in California. “The EMA said in a statement. “The Omnibus regulations require engine and heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers to comply with the new standards by January 1, 2024, giving manufacturers just two years of lead time.
The EMA said the Omnibus regulations would require engine manufacturers to redesign, test and build their engines to comply with all new requirements.
“This lawsuit is simply to ensure that CARB adheres to all prescribed rules, one of which is to maximize the likelihood of a smooth and successful implementation of the new emission standards,” the EMA chairman said. , Jed Mandel, in a statement.
Specifically, the lawsuit asks the court to declare that the provisions of the Omnibus Settlement that would come into effect from MY [model year] 2024 are invalid and unconstitutional under the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution “to the extent that they would apply before MY 2026”.
The new rule received support from state air quality officials across the country, but was opposed by the EMA and some trucking industry trade groups, including the American Trucking Associations. and the California Trucking Association.
The new regulations reduce the current NOx standard for heavy-duty vehicles from 0.20 grams per hour of brake horsepower to 0.050 g/bhp-hr from 2024 to 2026, and to 0.020 g/bhp-hr in 2027.
The regulations also extend the useful life and emissions warranty of heavy-duty diesel engines intended for use in vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds. Strict NOx emission standards begin with 2024 model year engines and become more stringent with 2027 and later model year engines.
“The highly diverse, low-volume engine and commercial vehicle manufacturing industry must design several new engine and exhaust after-treatment technologies, conduct extensive testing to ensure long-term durability, integrate the new systems in large separate vehicle chassis and assure customers that the new products will meet their needs through real-world demonstrations,” the EMA statement read.
“The EMA challenge has merit in that federal clean air law requires a full four model years of lead time between the adoption of a new emissions standard and its implementation date. “said Glen Kedzie, vice president of energy and environmental consulting for ATA. “Such a lead time is essential to give manufacturers the ability to plan financially and undertake the research and development necessary to design solutions that meet any new standard. Congress never intended to give CARB a lower time limit than the EPA. To draw such a conclusion is unfounded.
CARB said it could not comment on the pending litigation, but said in a statement: “We can say that of all the measures we rely on to achieve healthy air, the Heavy Duty Omnibus Regulations target the largest contributor to NOx emissions (on-road heavy-duty emissions account for 31% of total NOx emissions) and expected to provide the most NOx emissions benefit to help the state meet its federal standards of air quality.
“These NOx reductions are equivalent to taking 16 million light-duty cars off the road, averting nearly 4,000 premature deaths and averting 3,150 hospitalizations statewide over the life of the rule. The rule will also have total statewide health benefits of about $36.8 billion and will mostly benefit disadvantaged communities living near heavy truck traffic.
“The benefits of this regulation will be particularly significant in California’s most environmentally and economically impacted communities, whose residents live in the shadow of freight terminals and whose neighborhoods border the busiest freight corridors of the State. It is appalling that someone is trying to weaken this rule.
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