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EPA releases long-awaited greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles

March 29, 2024

WASHINGTON – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its phase 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs), an important step to decarbonizing the transportation sector and protecting public health. The final rule sets standards for model years 2027-2032 and thereafter and covers GHG emissions from a variety of HDVs, including heavy-duty vocational vehicles such as delivery trucks and school buses and tractor-trailers. The final rule creates flexibility for fleets by providing compliance packages that include different technologies, including both battery-electric vehicles and hydrogen-powered fuel-cell electric vehicles. 

“Transportation is the highest emitting sector in the U.S., and medium- and heavy-duty trucks contribute massively to the sector’s overall greenhouse gas emissions and dangerous air pollution. We commend EPA for finalizing a rule to tackle those emissions that will lead to vast climate and public health benefits,” said Jonathan Lewis, Director of Transportation Decarbonization at Clean Air Task Force. “The heavy-duty vehicle industry is more than prepared to meet the standards set in this new rule. Combined with the slew of state and federal programs aimed at addressing emissions from the transportation sector and the administration’s recent National Zero-Emissions Freight Corridor Strategy, the message is clear: decarbonizing transportation is a top priority both for climate and public health. We look forward to working with the administration and other stakeholders to implement this new rule.” 

While medium- and heavy-duty vehicles make up only a small fraction of on-road vehicles in the U.S., they generate 59% of ozone- and particle-forming nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and 55% of particle pollution, two contributors to smog. CATF estimates that in 2023 alone, diesel vehicle emissions led to over 8,800 deaths, 3,700 heart attacks, hundreds of thousands of respiratory illnesses, and approximately $100 billion in monetized health damages across the country.  

“Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are the second-largest domestic contributor to emissions in the transportation sector, emitting over 400 million metric tons of CO2e per year in the U.S., and addressing those emissions is key to unlocking public health and climate benefits,” said Veronica Saltzman, an attorney at CATF. “The heavy-duty vehicles rule will make progress in addressing the immense public health harms. EPA estimates that in 2055, the final rule will result in net emissions reductions of over 53,000 tons of NOx, over 7,000 tons of volatile organic compounds, and almost 300 tons of sulfur dioxide. Along with the immense public health benefits that will result from these emissions reductions, this rule makes an important step toward helping the U.S. achieve its climate goals.  EPA estimates that the final rule will result in net GHG emissions reductions of 1,025 million metric tons between 2027 and 2055. EPA estimates that the present value of the net climate benefits between 2027 and 2055, using a two percent discount rate, is $220 billion dollars.” 

To learn more about CATF’s work to decarbonize the transportation sector, visit our program page. CATF is also tracking funding opportunities to decarbonize on-road, maritime, and aviation transportation sectors through its Clean Transportation Funding Tracker

Contatto con la stampa

Natalie Volk, Communications Manager, [email protected], +1 703-785-9580

Circa Clean Air Task Force 

Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a global nonprofit organization working to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid development and deployment of low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies. With more than 25 years of internationally recognized expertise on climate policy and a fierce commitment to exploring all potential solutions, CATF is a pragmatic, non-ideological advocacy group with the bold ideas needed to address climate change. CATF has offices in Boston, Washington D.C., and Brussels, with staff working virtually around the world. Visit and follow @cleanaircatf. 

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