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California sued over swift implementation of heavy duty truck emissions standards


The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is facing a lawsuit over truck emissions standards adopted late last year.

On May 27, 2022, the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against CARB, claiming that the agency isn’t providing enough time for manufacturers to comply with new emissions standards.

According to the EMA suit, the federal Clean Air Act states that heavy duty engine and vehicle manufacturers must be provided with a full four model years of leadtime before new emissions standards are enacted. This four full model years of leadtime model has been adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The lawsuit argues that when CARB adopted the Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Omnibus Regulation in late December 2021, it only provided manufacturers only two years of leadtime prior to the January 1, 2024 compliance date.

The EMA grants that the Clean Air Act “allows California to establish its own unique standards and not be subject to the Act’s preemption provisions, provided California meets certain requirements – including providing heavy-duty on-highway engine and vehicle manufacturers four full model years of leadtime.”

The suit seeks to reinstate the four years of leadtime for heavy duty vehicle and engine manufacturers.

EMA President Jed R. Mandel said, “Truck and engine manufacturers are proud that today’s modern engines reduce harmful emissions to near zero levels, and we are committed to building still cleaner products – but CARB must provide manufacturers the minimum four years of leadtime mandated by Congress. We acknowledge that the Clean Air Act gives CARB the authority to establish California- specific emissions standards and regulations; however, in doing so, CARB must follow Congress’s requirements. This lawsuit is simply to ensure that CARB follows all of the prescribed rules – one of which is intended to maximize the likelihood of the smooth and successful implementation of new emission standards.”

Mandel added, “Manufacturers and our customers should not be forced to short circuit the design, development and integration process, and CARB should not be allowed to circumvent Congress’ clear mandate to provide adequate leadtime. We urge the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to reaffirm the minimum four-year leadtime requirement. We hope this matter will be resolved quickly so that manufacturers have the leadtime and regulatory certainty needed to develop and build the products our customers – and our economy – depend on.”


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