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US EPA/NHTSA delay Phase 2 GHG rule for heavy-duty trucks

8 March 2016

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a Notice of data availability (NODA), announcing that new information has been made available pertaining to the proposed Phase 2 heavy-duty greenhouse gas (GHG) and fuel efficiency rulemaking. The agencies have requested comments on the new information, which are due by April 1, 2016. This additional 30-days comments period means that the Phase 2 rulemaking—which was expected to be finalized in the Spring—will be delayed at least until late Summer.

The EPA/NHTSA are soliciting comments on a number of issues, including:

This delay in the rulemaking process could potentially allow blocking the Phase 2 GHG rule—in case a Republican-controlled Congress and a Republican president are elected in November. Even if adopted and signed by president Obama, the rule could be blocked under the authority of the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which provides lawmakers with 60 legislative days after a rule is promulgated to stop it.

The vehicle and engine industry has generally supported the Phase 2 GHG standards, at least at the stringency level and implementation schedule that were proposed by the EPA/NHTSA. On the other hand, the California ARB as well as several environmental groups have argued that the proposed Phase 2 standards should be strengthened, making a wider use of efficiency technologies developed under the SuperTruck program, and that the proposed 2027 implementation date should be moved ahead to 2024.

Source: US EPA