U.S. plans new limits on heavy-duty truck emissions


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sign is seen on the podium at EPA headquarters in Washington, U.S., July 11, 2018. REUTERS/Ting Shen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday will announce plans to propose new rules to significantly decrease emissions of smog-forming nitrogen oxide from diesel highway heavy-duty trucks and engines, an agency official said.

Industry groups and state environmental officials have urged the EPA to set new nationwide rules as the state of California has been moving forward with plans to set new state emissions limits. California also wants nationwide rules in part because more than half of all trucks delivering goods in the state are registered in other states.

The effort to impose a new regulatory limit by EPA comes as the Trump administration has generally touted its efforts to eliminate regulations. But the effort on nitrogen oxide (NOx) is backed by industry, which wants to avoid a patchwork of federal and state standards, the official said.

In December 2016, the Obama-led EPA said in response to petitions to impose new standards that it acknowledged “a need for additional NOx reductions from on-highway heavy-duty engines, particularly in areas of the country with elevated levels of air pollution” and said it planned to propose new rules that could begin in the 2024 model year.

Another administration official said Monday the new proposed emissions rules may not be announced until 2020.

Nitrogen oxide emissions are linked to significant health impacts and can exacerbate asthma attacks, EPA has said.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Steve Orlofsky

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