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CARB, Engine Makers Agree to ‘Flexible’ Deal on New Enviro Rules: Report

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has signed an “unprecedented” pact with North America’s largest truck and engine manufacturers that resolves key issues dogging the advance to zero emissions, reports Truck News.

According to TN:

Dubbed the Clean Truck Partnership, the agreement is meant to be a flexible solution to the quandary of how manufacturers can meet mandated emissions requirements while enabling the state to reach its climate-change and emission-reduction goals.

The Clean Truck Partnership includes Cummins, Daimler Truck North America, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Company, Hino Motors, Isuzu Technical Center of America, Navistar, Paccar, Stellantis NV, Volvo Group North America, and the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA).

The deal comes as California prepares to implement its rules for “a phased-in transition toward 100% sale and use” of zero-emissions technology for medium- and-heavy duty vehicles under CARB’s Advanced Clean Trucks and Advanced Clean Fleets rules by 2045.

CARB also noted the significance of the Biden administration having earlier approved California’s waiver of exemption under the federal Clean Air Act. Whenever the state secures these waivers, according to CARB, other states that “are or have been noncompliant with federal ambient air quality standards” are allowed to adopt California’s standards as their own.

The article continues:

CARB and the manufacturers are now “aligned on a single nationwide nitrogen oxide emissions standard, secured needed lead time and stability for manufacturers, and agreed on regulatory changes that will ensure continued availability of commercial vehicles,” EMA President Jed Mandel said in a statement.

Here are the twin pillars of the public-private partnership, per CARB:

  • “A commitment from the companies to meet California’s vehicle standards that will require the sale and adoption of zero-emissions technology in the state, regardless of whether any other entity challenges California’s authority to set more stringent emissions standards under the federal Clean Air Act.”
  • “In turn, CARB has agreed to work collaboratively with manufacturers to provide reasonable lead time to meet CARB’s requirements and before imposing new regulations and to support the development of necessary ZEV infrastructure.”

CARB will align with the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) 2027 regulations for nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, and “modify elements” of the 2024 NOx emission regulations for which manufacturers will provide offsets as necessary to maintain California’s emission targets. It also commits to providing no less than four years of lead time and at least three years of “regulatory stability” before imposing new requirements.

For their part, truck manufacturers commit to meeting CARB’s zero-emission and criteria pollutant regulations in the state– regardless of any attempts by other entities to challenge California’s authority.

U.S. trucking associations decried the Clean Truck Partnership, however.

“We’ve long advocated for a single, national standard that respects and preserves interstate commerce. However, the trucking industry shouldn’t be strong armed by the government into an agreement with such terms,” Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, added in a statement about the Clean Truck Partnership itself. “Our association represents motor carrier members – the paying customers who will inherit the costs of this agreement – and we will not roll over nor relinquish our right to litigate with any party when our interests are threatened. It is clear that America has lost its way when the government bullies the private sector to succumb to unachievable timelines, targets and technologies.”

“Unfortunately, with this agreement, the motor carrier and its drivers will experience the pain points of this ill-suited compromise.  As we have continued to point out, the issues of reliability, affordability and achievability of these regulations must remain at the forefront of these conversations,” said Jim Ward, president of the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA).

Full story here.

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