Environmental Protection Agency Grants Clean Air Act Waiver for State Clean Trucks Standards


Larisa Manescu, larisa.manescu@sierraclub.org

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, the EPA issued a waiver under the Clean Air Act, allowing California to move forward with its Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) rule, which is essential for protecting residents from harmful pollution from heavy-duty vehicles like trucks and buses. The EPA’s decision also enables other states to adopt and enforce those standards.

States across the country are adopting these standards, improving air quality across those regions and especially benefiting the tens of millions of Americans who live near high-traffic corridors, including many environmental justice communities.

In November, over 100 organizations, including climate, environmental justice and health groups, sent a letter to the EPA urging the agency to move forward with these important waivers.

In response to today’s announcement, Sierra Club Executive Director Ben Jealous released the following statement: 

“Every single day, millions of Americans across the country are breathing in harmful diesel fumes from an endless stream of truck traffic, and communities grappling with poverty bear the brunt of the pollution. Today’s announcement advances one life-saving policy to change this reality. 

“We applaud the EPA’s granting of this important waiver for California’s clean trucks standards, which will allow states across the country to protect their residents, clean up local air quality, and tackle climate emissions from transportation. We urge the agency to move quickly to grant a waiver for California’s Heavy-Duty Omnibus rule, which will help the country clean up these polluting vehicles even faster.” 

Background on rules:

  • California’s Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) rule requires manufacturers to produce zero-emission trucks beginning in 2024 and increases production targets through 2035. The rule aims to put 300,000 zero-emission trucks on the road by 2035. It requires that sales of medium and heavy-duty vehicles reach 30-50 percent by 2030, 40-75 percent by 2035, and 100 percent by 2045.
  • The EPA simultaneously issued waiver determinations for California’s Zero-Emission Airport Shuttle regulation, which requires airport shuttle fleets at California’s thirteen largest airports to shift towards zero-emission vehicles, its 2018 Heavy-Duty Warranty Amendments, which assure that manufacturers rather than truck-owners will bear the obligation to ensure that trucks conform with emissions requirements, and its Zero Emission Powertrain Certification regulation which establishes certification procedures for zero-emission powertrains in heavy-duty vehicles. 

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.