The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration June 14 announced plans to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement to analyze the potential environmental impacts of the agency’s new fuel efficiency improvement program for commercial medium- and heavy-duty on-highway vehicles and work trucks.
The EIS will consider the potential environmental impacts of new standards starting with model year 2016 vehicles and voluntary compliance standards for 2014-2015 vehicles that NHTSA will be proposing related to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
The June 14 notice in the Federal Register initiates the National Environmental Policy Act scoping process by inviting comments from federal, state and local agencies and the public to help identify the environmental issues and reasonable alternatives to be examined in the EIS. The process will culminate in the preparation and issuance of a draft EIS, which will be made available for public comment. Comments should be received on or before July 14. To participate, go to www.regulations.gov; the docket number is NHTSA-2010-0079.
President Obama on May 21 signed a presidential memorandum directing NHTSA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to jointly issue the nation’s first fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards on new medium- and heavy-duty trucks, beginning with 2014 vehicles. The president directed that EPA and NHTSA try to issue a final rule by July 30, 2011.
In the memorandum, Obama directed EPA and NHTSA to consider strategies designed to increase use of existing technologies to reduce emissions and fossil fuel consumption.