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  Under EPA’s new proposal, companies would be allowed to install an outdated engine into a new truck body and avoid regulations that would apply to an entirely new truck.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 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

EPA and DOT announce new truck standards

EPA and DOT Finalize Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Heavy-Duty Trucks

Truck on a road
The final standards are cost effective for consumers and businesses.

EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) jointly finalized standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that will improve fuel efficiency and cut carbon pollution, while bolstering energy security and spurring manufacturing innovation. The final phase two standards were called for by President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, and respond to the President’s directive in early 2014 to develop new standards that run into the next decade.

The final standards are expected to lower CO2 emissions by approximately 1.1 billion metric tons, save vehicle owners fuel costs of about $170 billion, and reduce oil consumption by up to two billion barrels over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the program. Read more about the new standards.

Read a joint blog post by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx on how these standards are helping to address climate change.

Volkswagen’s “Clean Diesel” Emissions – What Went Wrong?

Recently, Volkswagen admitted that it had programmed its clean diesel engines to turn on full emissions controls only when the car was in test mode. This enabled VW diesel cars to pass emissions testing, but did not reflect real emissions during on-the-road driving conditions.  High nitrogen oxide emissions resulted, which was discovered by a West Virginia University researcher.

Kevin Stewart, American Lung Association’s Director of Environmental Health in the Mid-Atlantic Region, will explain how Volkswagen illegally bypassed emission controls and increased air pollution from these diesel vehicles.  Join us at our community meeting at Second Presbyterian Church, October 1, 7 pm.

For additional information, go to:  NYTimes – Volkswagen Recall

Pennsylvania’s Clean Power Plan – What Would You Tell the Governor?

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection is holding listening sessions around the state to solicit comments about the EPA’s Clean Power rules, which were finalized this summer.  DEP would like to hear from you about your concerns and the means to achieve Pennsylvania’s targets for carbon reductions.  There is an upcoming listening session in York on Oct. 5, 2015,(2-5 pm) at  the Wyndham Garden, 2000 Loucks Road, York, PA  17408

Learn about the Clean Power Plan at our community meeting and tell us the points you want the Governor to hear if you cannot attend the DEP listening session.

Best Practices for Siting Warehouse and Distribution Centers

Proposed construction of warehouse and distribution centers has been in the news lately.

Join the Clean Air Board as we take a look at best practices for siting warehouse and distribution centers.

We will be meeting on June 4, 7 pm at the Second Presbyterian Church in Carlisle, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle, PA.

Clean Air Board talks to AAUW

On March 25, 2014, Clean Air Board member Justina Wasicek talked to AAUW, Carlisle Branch, about local air quality.  See and hear the talk. Air Quality 2014

NBC News reports on link between air pollution and cancer

The International Agency for Research on Cancer declared on Thursday that air pollution is a carcinogen, alongside known dangers such as asbestos, tobacco and ultraviolet radiation. The decision came after a consultation by an expert panel organized by IARC, the cancer agency of the World Health Organization, which is based in Lyon, France.

“We consider this to be the most important environmental carcinogen, more so than passive smoking,” said Kurt Straif, head of the IARC department that evaluates cancer-causing substances.

IARC had previously deemed some of the components in air pollution such as diesel fumes to be carcinogens, but this is the first time it has classified air pollution in its entirety as cancer causing.

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/who-agency-air-pollution-causes-cancer-8C11410692

For a video clip from the NBC Nightly News Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013 http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nightly-news/53309399/#53309399

The new World Health Organization study on air pollution and cancer can be found at: