The new program comes courtesy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is being called the “Cleaner Trucks Initiative”.
The EPA says that the new initiative is the just first step in rewriting current rules on nitrogen oxide, or “NOx,” emissions from semi trucks.
The announcement comes as California lawmakers are pushing for tougher truck emissions regulations. Because these new regulations could conflict with federal regulations, the EPA is working with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to create unified nationwide emissions rules. “It is my hope that we can continue to work together and reach one national standard,” said Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
It has been nearly twenty years since the last time that the EPA updated NOx emissions regulations for heavy duty trucks. Details about the new plan are scarce and officials say that it will be 2020 before any definitive emissions rules are written.
Environmental groups like the American Lung Association are pleased with the announcement. “This is a positive step and may be the first thing this EPA has done that will actually reduce air pollution,” the group told the Washington Post.
The Cleaner Trucks Initiative comes as a surprise as the Trump administration has taken a hard stance against overregulation and has significantly relaxed several rules designed to protect the environment.
Industry experts point to the Democratic party’s takeover of the House of Representatives following the November election as a possible motive for the sudden plan for stricter truck emissions.
You can take a look at video of the Cleaner Trucks Initiative announcement below.