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California Reach Deal on Zero-Emission Rules

On June 6 it was announced that Iowa’s Attorney General, Brenna Bird, would lead a coalition of 19 states to challenge the EPA decision to allow California to force truckers to buy electric trucks.

On June 30, California led an 18-state coalition backing the EPA and asked for dismissal of the challenge from Iowa and its coalition.

Today, truck and engine manufacturers have come to a compromise with California’s plan for phasing out sales of Classes 4-8 diesel-powered trucks.

Joining California’s court action siding with EPA and the right of states to follow California’s lead on truck emissions were Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington state as well as the cities of Los Angeles and New York, plus the District of Columbia.

Under the pact announced July 6 between the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association and California Air Resources Board, regulators agreed to relax existing standards for nitrogen oxide pollution. 

In return, the engine and truck makers are vowing to satisfy the state’s zero-emission vehicle targets and air pollution curbs, even if they are later overturned in court.

Jed Mandel, president of the manufacturers group, praised the plan set to start in 2027. “These trucks are sold in relative low volume, the emission controls are expensive to buy and spreading them across fleets makes sense,” Mandel said.

But American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear in a statement maintained his group’s stance opposing timelines that it views as unrealistic.

“We’ve long advocated for a single, national standard that respects and preserves interstate commerce. However, the trucking industry shouldn’t be strong-armed by the government into an agreement with such terms,” Spear said.

He continued, “Our association represents motor carrier members — the paying customers who will inherit the costs of this agreement — and we will not roll over nor relinquish our right to litigate with any party when our interests are threatened. It is clear that America has lost its way when the government bullies the private sector to succumb to unachievable timelines, targets and technologies.”

The coalition backing the plan includes EMA along with Cummins Inc., Daimler Truck North America, Ford, GM, Hino Motors Limited Inc., Izuzu Technical Center of America Inc., Navistar Inc., Stellantis and Volvo Group North America.

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