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EPA grants waivers for California’s on-highway heavy-duty vehicle and engine emission standards

Christian Fernsby |
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a decision that grants two requests for waivers of preemption regarding four California Air Resource Board (CARB) regulations related to California’s heavy-duty vehicle and engine emission standards.

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Under the Clean Air Act, California is afforded broad discretion to adopt emissions requirements to meet their significant air quality challenges, but they must seek waivers from EPA for new motor vehicle emission standards.

In this instance, CARB requested two waivers for regulations relating to heavy duty vehicles and engines.

After reviewing the technical information provided by CARB, reviewing comments submitted by the public, and applying the limited authority for review under section 209 of the Clean Air Act, EPA determined it appropriate to grant the waiver and authorization requests.

“Under the Clean Air Act, California has longstanding authority to address pollution from cars and trucks. Today’s announcement allows the state to take additional steps in reducing their transportation emissions through these new regulatory actions,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.

These waivers of preemption address the following California programs:

• The 2018 Heavy-duty 2018 Warranty Amendments, which extend the emissions warranty periods for 2022 and subsequent model year on-road heavy-duty diesel engines and for 2022 and subsequent model year diesel vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating exceeding 14,000 pounds powered by such engines.

• The Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) Regulation, which requires that manufacturers produce and sell increasing quantities of medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) and near zero emission vehicles (NZEVs) in California.

This waiver request also includes two additional regulations:

- The Zero Emission Airport Shuttle Bus (ZEAS) Regulation, which establishes steadily increasing zero-emission airport shuttle fleet composition requirements for airport shuttle fleet owners who service the 13 largest California airports.

- The Zero Emission Powertrain (ZEP) Certification Regulation, which establishes certification requirements and optional emission standards for 2021 and subsequent model year medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs and the zero-emission powertrains installed in such vehicles.

Governor Gavin Newsom said: “This is a big deal for climate action. Last year, California became one of the first jurisdictions in the world with a real plan to end tailpipe emissions for cars.

"Now, 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.

"We’re leading the charge to get dirty trucks and buses – the most polluting vehicles – off our streets, and other states and countries are lining up to follow our lead around the world.”

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