EPA proposes to exempt certain glider trucks from emissions standards

In November 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt proposed a rule to repeal tighter emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks with older engines.  The regulation is aimed at controlling soot and other pollutants.

The current rule applies emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks to new truck components called gliders and trailers. A glider, or body, is the front of a truck, including the cab, which fits over the engine.  Under EPA’s new proposal, companies would be allowed to install an outdated engine into a new truck body and avoid regulations that would apply to an entirely new truck.

The Washington Post reports that executives from three major heavy-truck and engine manufacturers — Volvo Group North America, Cummins and Navistar — wrote Pruitt urging him not to reopen the rule. It noted that the three companies were joining with the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association, the American Trucking Associations and the Truck Rental and Leasing Association in “voicing their concerns” about the move.

Glen Kedzie, vice president and energy and environmental counsel for American Trucking Associations, said at an EPA hearing that by EPA’s own admission, glider vehicles may account for as much as 33% of total NOx emissions from all heavy-duty on-highway vehicles by 2025 if left unchecked.

ATA opposes a repeal of the glider provision, Kedzie said.

“It is well-known that gliders are purchased to save money, avoid maintenance costs and weight penalties, skirt federal excise tax payments, elude the use of engine technologies that virtually eliminate NOx and PM emissions, and to avoid the installation of safety equipment in pre-2000 vehicles under the electronic logging device rule which goes into effect Dec. 18,” Kedzie told EPA officials.

The full proposal can be found in the Federal Register.

Comments must be submitted Jan. 5, 2008 and may be submitted by clicking the submit a formal comment tab on the Federal Register page.

 

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CAB’s Year in Review

Join Clean Air Board members as we look back at highlights of 2017.   On Dec. 7, we will go over past events, new scientific findings, and insights from our work in the community.

Some of the questions asked and answered this past year:

Are bees allergic to air pollution?

Do trees remove pollutants?

Does air pollution affect brain activity?

Where do we rank nationally among clean air metro areas?

How can we use the VW penalty fund to reduce diesel pollution?

What will rural Cumberland County look like in the future?

How will climate change affect our air?

Will the Clean Air Act or a Climate bill save us?

Meet with us on Dec. 7, 7:00 pm at Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle, PA  17013.  Bring your questions and curiosity.  Light refreshments will be served.

 

Southern California smog worsens for second straight year despite reduced emissions

For decades, Southern California has waged a slow but successful war on smog. Through vehicle emissions rules, clean-fuel standards and other tough measures, officials have lifted the choking pall of air pollution that once shrouded Los Angeles, bringing clearer skies and healthier lungs.

But now, progress appears to be faltering. Smog has gotten worse for the second straight year, even though emissions are on the decline.

Read more

Wildfires Leave Sky Full of Soot

California Fires Leave 32 Dead, a Vast Landscape Charred, and a Sky Full of Soot

NY Times, Oct. 12, 2017

SONOMA, Calif. — Some of the worst wildfires ever to tear through California have killed 32 people and torched a vast area of the state’s north this week, but the reach of the blazes is spreading dramatically further by the day, as thick plumes of smoke blow through population centers across the Bay Area. . . .  Air-quality, based on levels of tiny particles that can flow deep into the lungs, is rated “unhealthy” across much of Northern California, and smoke has traveled as far as Fresno, more than 200 miles to the south.   Read more

EPA Air Quality Information for Napa, Oct. 13, 2017:

Napa

cur_aqi_napa

 

Current Conditions  Oct. 13, 2017
Air Quality Index (AQI)
observed at 17:00 PDT
 393    Hazardous
Health Message: People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should remain indoors and keep activity levels low. Everyone else should avoid all physical activity outdoors.
Note: Values above 500 are considered Beyond the AQI. Follow recommendations for the Hazardous category. Additional information on reducing exposure to extremely high levels of particle pollution is available here.

Time for Climate Change?

Mort Rubenstein from Citizens’ Climate Lobby will speak on “a legislative proposal to address climate change.”  The bipartisan climate solutions caucus intends to introduce carbon-pricing legislation in the next few months. Learn the outline of this proposed legislation.  Join members of the clean air community to discuss this topic at CAB’s community meeting, Oct. 5, 7:00 pm at Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle, PA  17013.

Defending the Clean Air Act

Recent changes at the Environmental Protection Agency have threatened to undo years of progress cleaning our air.  Find out what is going on. Learn which clean air programs are under attack and what we can do about it.  Join members of the clean air community at CAB’s community meeting, Sept 7, 7:00 pm at Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle, PA  17013.

CAB Comments on VW mitigation trust

July 17, 2017 – The Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania recently submitted comments to the Department of Environmental Protection regarding the draft plan for Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement (settlement) with Volkswagen.   We asked that DEP focus on pollution reduction projects located in areas with high population density and high traffic density.  Areas of high population density (such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh) and high traffic density (such as the I-95 corridor, the I-81 corridor, and major ports) are often the areas with the poorest air quality.  We believe that carefully selected projects in these areas will result in much needed health benefits for residents of these areas.  To read the full text of the comments, go to CAB Final Comments