Biden Administration Finalizes Long-Term Truck Pollution Standards

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Larisa Manescu, larisa.manescu@sierraclub.org

Washington, DC ‚ÄĒ¬†Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized federal standards to strengthen the nation‚Äôs emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles.

The federal truck standards will cover model years 2027-2032 and reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that trucks and buses emit, cleaning up pollution from large vehicles on the roads like transit buses, school buses, delivery trucks, and garbage trucks. 

In addition to contributing to the climate crisis, these vehicles are a major threat to public health for millions of Americans and especially dangerous for marginalized communities across the nation that often live next to major freight corridors due to the history of red-lining. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are harmed by diesel pollution every year. Although trucks make up less than 10 percent of vehicles on the road, they emit the majority of hazardous air pollutants from vehicles, including 63 percent of smog-forming NOx pollution.

Research shows that pollution-free, electric heavy-duty trucks are cheaper to own and operate over the lifetime of the vehicle compared to a polluting version, saving fleets money. There are already about 150 existing medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission truck models that are commercially available in the U.S. today.

In response to the final rule, Sierra Club Executive Director Ben Jealous released the following statement:

“Today’s EPA announcement highlights the significant health, economic, and climate benefits that cleaner trucks deliver. From California to New York, communities across the country are suffering under the constant traffic of dirty freight.

“Despite the truck and oil industries’ relentless lobbying to weaken and delay these life-saving standards, the Biden Administration’s new emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks and buses are an important step to address this harmful pollution. In combination with the recently announced federal charging investments in trucking and the clean transportation investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, these standards will help to move the needle on electrifying our biggest, dirtiest vehicles.

‚ÄúWe‚Äôre pleased to see the Biden Administration‚Äôs continued progress to address public health and climate, but even more is needed to address heavy-duty vehicle pollution. The Sierra Club will continue its advocacy pushing truck manufacturers to quickly ramp up the pace towards zero-emission trucks and we urge the Administration to keep the momentum up and grant California‚Äôs waivers quickly.‚ÄĚ

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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.