White House gets heavy-duty truck fuel standards

The U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have sent to the White House draft proposals on fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for commercial medium- and heavy-duty on-highway vehicles and work trucks.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to publish the proposed rule by the end of September.

In May, President Obama signed a presidential memorandum directing NHTSA and the EPA to jointly issue the nation’s first fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards on commercial vehicles, beginning with model year 2014. The presidential order directs NHTSA and EPA to issue a final rule by July 30, 2011.

Fuel economy standards for commercial trucks already were mandated. In 2007, Congress ordered fuel economy standards on medium- and heavy-duty trucks following a National Academy of Sciences study, which was submitted to NHTSA and Congress in March.

To guard against multiple technology changes in a short period of time such as was experienced with EPA NOx standards in the 2000s, the 2007 law provides the new standards provide at least four full model years of regulatory lead time and three full model years of regulatory stability.

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