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October 25, 2016 11:00 AM, EDT

Regulators Announce Date for Greenhouse Gas Phase 2 Final Rule

US EPA

A rule aimed at reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from heavy- and medium-duty trucks will take effect in two months, federal regulators announced Oct. 25.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration worked jointly on the rule, and the agencies indicated in the Federal Register that Dec. 27 will be the final rule’s official start date.

In August, the Obama administration unveiled what it termed as the Phase 2 rule on GHG emissions from heavy- and medium-duty trucks. The rule's goal is to get the industry to build better fuel-efficient and aerodynamic tractors and trailers.

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Phase 2’s first effective date for trailers is Jan. 1, 2018. That is followed by truck and trailer rules in 2021, 2024 and 2027. When fully implemented in 2027, the rule seeks reductions in CO2 output and fuel use of 25% by highway tractors, including engine improvements, and 24% by vocational vehicles when compared with 2017 vehicles.

Vehicles built under the provisions of Phase 2 have an efficiency forecast of saving 1.1 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions, 2 billion barrels of crude oil and $170 billion worth of fuel over their lifetime.

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“This rule builds on our commitment to robust collaboration with stakeholders and the public. It follows an expansive and thorough outreach effort in which the agencies gathered input, data and views from many interested stakeholders, involving over 400 meetings with heavy-duty vehicle and engine manufacturers, technology suppliers, trucking fleets, truck drivers, dealerships, environmental organizations and state agencies,” according to the Oct. 25 notice in the Federal Register.