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Truckers and farmers join lawsuit over ‘unworkable’ EPA emissions rules

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Trucking and agricultural trade groups joined a major lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) over stringent emissions standards that they say could regulate trucking “out of existence.”

The lawsuit was filed in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on June 18 by Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, National Corn Growers Association, and American Farm Bureau Federation, and the American Petroleum Institute (API).

The suit seeks to challenge the EPA’s heavy-duty (HD) vehicle emissions standards for model years (MY) 2027-2032 requiring significant deployment of zero emissions heavy duty vehicles within the coming years. The new emissions standards would require that the nation’s long haul trucking fleet go from almost no zero emissions trucks to 25% by model year 2032. The rule affects truck manufacturers and is “performance-based,” allowing truck makers to choose the technology required to achieve the set emissions standards, whether that be through “advanced internal combustion engine vehicles, hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, battery electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.”

The lawsuit calls the EPA’s tough emissions standards “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not in accordance with law,” and asks the court to vacate the Final Rule putting the standards in place.

“Small business truckers make up 96% of trucking and could be regulated out of existence if the EPA’s unworkable heavy-duty rule comes into effect. This rule would devastate the reliability of America’s supply chain and ultimately increase costs for consumers. Mom and pop trucking businesses would be suffocated by the sheer cost and operational challenges of effectively mandating zero emission trucks, but this administration appears intent on forcing through its deluge of misguided environmental mandates. As the voice of over 150,000 small-business truckers, we owe it to our members and every small-business trucker in America to leave no stone unturned in fighting these radical environmental policies,” said Todd Spencer, president, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

After the EPA Final Rule was published in March 2024, the ATA called the new emissions targets “unachievable” and warned that they will harm the supply chain and the U.S. economy.

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