EPA allows California to proceed with zero-emission truck regulation


California can proceed with the groundbreaking zero-emission truck regulation it passed almost three years ago.

On Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted the state the waiver it needs to enact the Advanced Clean Trucks regulation that requires vehicles ranging from small delivery vans to shuttle buses to 18-wheelers to transition away from diesel fuel — in favor of less-polluting battery electrics and hydrogen fuel cells.

“This is a big deal for climate action,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement Friday. “Thanks to the Biden Administration, we’re getting more zero-emission heavy duty trucks on the roads, expanding our world-leading efforts to cut air pollution and protect public health.”

California became the first state in the country to mandate the sale of zero-emissions trucks in 2020. Poised to take effect with 2024 model year heavy-duty vehicles, the new rule requires truck makers to sell an increasing percentage of electric models annually through 2035. Forty percent of big rigs, half of all cargo and travel vans and 75% of box truck and dump truck sales need to be zero emissions by 2035.

Federal law prohibits individual states from enacting emission standards for motor vehicles, but a provision in the federal Clean Air Act allows California to enforce its own standards if the EPA grants it a waiver. That waiver also applies to states that adopt the California standard.

Six states have adopted California’s Advanced Clean Trucks regulation, including New York, New Jersey, Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts and Vermont.

The Advanced Clean Trucks regulation is similar to the Advanced Clean Cars program the California Air Resources Board adopted in 2012 to improve the fuel efficiency of passenger vehicles and accelerate the transition to zero-emission electrics. Seventeen other states now follow the California Clean Cars rule.

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Spectrum News, 02-04-23
; https://spectrumnews1.com/ca/la-west/environment/2023/03/31/epa-california-zero-emission-truck-regulation