Overdrive Staff | June 01, 2010

Navistar settles suit over engine technology

Navistar International Corp. said it had reached an agreement May 3 with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that settles lawsuits it had filed in March 2009 concerning the agency’s certification policies for diesel-powered trucks equipped with selective catalytic reduction.

EPA agreed to hold a public workshop or hearing to address the issues Navistar raised in its challenges before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Navistar had argued EPA’s guidance documents for SCR implementation were invalid because the agency had adopted them without the required public process and had relied only on input from the SCR engine makers. Navistar contended that EPA’s guidance would allow SCR-equipped trucks to operate for extended periods without any control of NOx emissions, resulting in certification of SCR engines as meeting NOx emission requirements when they do not.

Navistar is the only heavy-duty engine maker not using SCR to meet 2010 emissions standards.

The settlement affects two related lawsuits, one directed at the February 2009 guidance memorandum to SCR engine makers and the other addressed issues related to EPA’s 2001 rule setting NOx standards.

According to Navistar, the agreement provides that EPA will “engage in a public process to re-examine its policies, for future 2011 and later model year engines,” during which it will “provide a thorough review of EPA’s policies regarding operation of SCR-equipped engines.”

“SCR technology is the only currently available option for complying with the 2010 emission standards without the use of emission credits,” said a Daimler Trucks North America spokesperson in response. “We are pleased that the uncertainty caused by questionable litigation is now eliminated and that the EPA remains committed to supporting SCR technology.”

— Avery Vise

UCR fees almost doubled

Fees for one- and two-truck operations nearly doubled as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on April 27 issued a final rule on annual registration fees and a fee bracket structure for the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Agreement for 2010. The rule, effective immediately, was published in the Federal Register.

The minimum fee, which applies to a one-truck operation or to a broker or freight forwarder, will go from $39 to $76. The 2010 fees are: 1-2 trucks, $76; 3-5 trucks, $227; 6-20 trucks, $452; 21-100 trucks, $1,576; 101-1,000 trucks, $7,511; and 1,001 and more, $73,346.

The fee increases under the final rule are slightly less than the hike in FMCSA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published last September.

The agency said several factors drove the need to increase fees to provide the $113 million necessary to ensure that states receive the revenues they got under the Single State Registration System. One was a change in federal law in 2008 that eliminated trailers from the calculation; that change alone required an increase in fees to maintain the revenue even if every single carrier complied, FMCSA said.

  • Vehicle Parking Solutions

    I have at least one modern vehicle, and the brakes are not controlled by computer. They are hydromechanical, exactly as brakes have been for a couple generations now (except, of course, with the addition of ABS). And the majority of brand new cars continue to use that system.

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