More than a dozen U.S. Senators are asking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to avoid implementing harsh emissions regulations which they say would burden the trucking industry and harm an already struggling supply chain.

On November 17, U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and others sent a letter to the EPA asking for leniency for the trucking industry as regulators consider two plans to drastically reduce tailpipe emissions.

The letter addresses a proposed rule called “Control of Air Pollution from New Motor Vehicles: Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards” that was issued by the EPA in March 2022. The EPA plans to issue a final rule on commercial motor vehicle (CMV) nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by the end of the year, according to the letter.

The Senators identify two options proposed by the EPA in March — “Option 1” that would work to reduce NOx emissions 90% by 2031, and “Option 2” that aims to reduce NOx emissions 75% overall for CMVs Model Year 2027 and later.

The Senators argue that the strict Option 1 would place a major burden on the trucking industry:

““Option 1” is a burdensome proposal that would impose excessive costs on new CMVs and lead to a decrease in truck sales, ultimately diminishing fleet turnover and increasing the age of the on-road fleet. Estimates show that “Option 1” would raise the price of heavy-duty diesel trucks by an average of $42,000, as well as increase operating costs and likely cause a “pre-buy, no-buy” scenario that would harm the market. The trucking industry has already prioritized healthier communities by deploying newer, cleaner, and safer CMVs. “Option 1” would place that priority at risk, along with thousands of well-paying jobs in Iowa and across the nation.

The letter continues:

We urge you to finalize a rule that is technologically achievable, acceptable, and affordable to American customers who haul freight and work from these trucks. “Option 2” would assist CMV fleet turnover which would help achieve drastic NOx emissions reductions. Additionally, we do not support undermining regulatory compliance and revising the existing Phase 2 CMV GHG rules that were jointly issued by EPA and DOT. Thank you for your consideration.

Others who signed the letter to the EPA include Senators Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Boozman (R-Ark.), Braun (R-Ind.), Capito (R-W.Va.), Cramer (R-N.D.), Crapo (R-Idaho), Daines (R-Mont.), Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Hoeven (R-N.D.), Lankford (R-Okla.), Lummis (R-Wyo.), Risch (R-Idaho), Tillis (R-N.C.), and Young (R-Ind.).

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