DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - The Environmental Protection Agency will soon start work on new fuel efficiency and emissions standards for heavy trucks.
EPA says standards for heavy-duty engines and trucks have not been updated since 2001.
"Much has happened in the past 20 years, and we are taking a comprehensive look at how we implement regulations for this sector to ensure real-world emissions reductions," says Ken McQueen, the regional administrator for the EPA.
McQueen says he has been working with states in the South and Southeast to develop a plan. He says nitrogen oxide emissions dropped 40 percent from 2007 to 2017, but trucks are expected to account for a third of all emissions by 2025. McQueen says trucks are the largest mobile source of nitrogen oxide.
"There's more work to be done," he says.
McQueen says 20 state and local environmental agencies have asked for an update to standards. He says the EPA hopes to start work with agencies this spring, propose a rule next year and implement changes by 2027.
"That will aid communities across the country in the attainment of ozone and particulate matter standards," McQueen says.
Nitrogen oxide has been linked to heart and lung disease. The EPA says more than 100 million people live in non-attainment areas for ozone and particulate matter.
Earlier this month, some members of the trucking industry applauded the EPA when a framework for updated regulations was first announced. The EPA may choose standards that are weaker than those under consideration in California, which could order emissions from diesel engines to be cut 90 percent.
“A strong new national standard has the potential to create significant investment in American jobs and manufacturing, cost-effectively reduce harmful emissions in the nation’s most populated areas in a timely fashion, and help deploy American-developed advanced control technologies here and around the world,” Chris Miller, the executive director of the trade group, Advanced Engine Systems Institute, wrote in a statement