ITD Holds Panel Discussion on EPA Phase 3 Greenhouse Gas Rule for Trucks
Wednesday, December13, 2023
On Wednesday, December 13th, 2023 the Institute for Transportation Decarbonization’s Dr. Kelly Fleming hosted a panel on the state of greenhouse gas standards for heavy-duty vehicles. The panel discussion featured EVNoire’s Dr. Shelley Francis, CALSTART’s Trisha DelloIacono, and Evergreen Action’s Craig Segall.
Panelists covered a range of topics related to the harmful impacts of pollution from medium and heavy-duty vehicles that contribute to negative public health outcomes and climate change impacts, and the need for both regulatory clarity and stringent standards from the federal government.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering new emissions thresholds for heavy-duty vehicles to take effect in 2028. A swift transition to zero-emission vehicles is critical for improving public health and addressing climate change, as noted in an ITD report on the advances in technology, policy and research required to successfully slash fossil fuel emissions across the transportation sector.
Speakers noted how important it is that lawmakers, truck and fleet operators, and community stakeholders understand the benefits of the EPA issuing a stringent final Phase 3 heavy duty trucks rule in early 2024. “This is a question about both community justice and international economic competitiveness,” said Craig Segall, vice president of policy at Evergreen Action, and former deputy executive officer at the California Air and Resources Board.
“Through prioritizing environmental justice policy and mitigating transportation emissions, we can work towards a more equitable, and healthier future for all communities,” said Dr. Shelley Francis, co-founder of EVNoire and EVHybridNoire and a recognized leader in the e-mobility space with a background in public health.
Although trucks are only a small percentage of U.S. on-road vehicles, they carry a disproportionate emissions impact. Panelists weighed in on the ideal role of the EPA in addressing that issue.
“What is missing is the regulatory certainty from the EPA at this moment,” said Trisha DelloIanco, head of policy at CALSTART. Earlier this year, CALSTART proposed a roadmap to accelerate infrastructure buildout that supports the adoption of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. She said, “It’s important to reflect back on the investments that are being made in California, and what we’re about to see evolve in new states adopting ACT [Advanced Clean Truck Rule]. The regulation definitely drives market certainty, and we really want to see the rule match the level of ambition we’re seeing in states.”
“Stricter policies can certainly have a significant public health impact for overburdening communities that are disproportionately impacted by transportation emissions,” said Dr. Francis, in regard to the current administration’s levers for facilitating a clean truck transition that improves public health for the nation’s communities.
Segall, a former state air quality regulator, pointed out a stringent federal greenhouse gas threshold is feasible for operators and manufacturers in the heavy-duty vehicle, transportation, and infrastructure sector. “There seems to be a lot of doomsaying on what is, in fact, not that hard a problem,” he said. “The technologies are present. There are hundreds of available models and various developments across different classes. And there’s really significant funding both federally and state to do this.“