August 12, 2015 Vol. 12 No. 16

Well, we’re into it now. U.S. regulators got an earful last week when they opened up the first of several hearings on the proposed second phase of commercial truck greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards, which Canada will follow.

Environmental, health, industry, and science representatives testified before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) during a hearing in Chicago.

The Diesel Technology Forum (DTF), a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, was there to offer its opinions.

“For all parties, the challenge of further increasing fuel efficiency while maintaining or improving environmental, safety, and productivity of commercial vehicles is as important as it is complex,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of DTF. “To be successful, the final outcome here must build on the success already accomplished in achieving near-zero emissions with today’s new clean-diesel technology, and drive continued innovation while ensuring that the end products are highly desired by customers.”

As EPA works to develop the final Phase 2 rules, Schaeffer said it’s important that they meet several criteria:

* Be a national program uniform to all 50 states including California;

* Remain fuel-neutral in nature;

* Provide ample lead time and stability;

* Be compatible with the needs and complexities of the diverse marketplace;

* Be mindful of the other requirements placed on the industry relative to environmental and safety requirements of commercial vehicles;

* Harmonize standards to the greatest extent possible; and

* Carefully consider the longstanding trade-off between NOx and CO2 emissions.