EPA’s Newly Released Heavy-Duty Rule is a Small Step in the Right Direction, But There is More Work to Be Done to Protect the Public from Health-Harming Vehicle Emissions

Nevada Conservation League says decision calls on federal leaders to reach a deal on climate legislation

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final rule to reduce harmful Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. The new standards are more than 80% stricter than previous rules and work to limit nitrogen oxide emissions from new heavy trucks to 35 milligrams per horsepower hour, from the current 200 milligrams.

The announcement builds on state efforts to electrify transportation sectors and reduce harmful vehicle pollution. Prior to today’s ruling, Nevada joined the Multi-State Medium and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Memorandum of Understanding, which encourages vehicle electrification and works to reduce toxic air pollution from our transportation sector. In October of 2021, Nevada became the 16th state to adopt clean car standards to provide consumers with more options for cost-saving and pollution-free light-duty cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs. Although trucks make up less than 10 percent of vehicles on the road, they release the majority of hazardous air pollutants, including 63% of NOx pollution. 

In response to today’s announcement, Nevada Conservation League Deputy Director Kristee Watson released the following statement:

“This rule is an important step in reducing the NOx pollution in Nevada and across the country. In Nevada, we receive failing air quality grades year after year resulting in consequential effects for our most populated cities, impacting frontline communities most. We’re proud of the work we’ve done to help pass Clean Cars Nevada and to close the Classic Car Loophole, but heavy-duty trucks account for the majority of NOx pollution. The solution lies in continued investment in expanding EV fleets and infrastructure which Nevada has been able to do with increased resources  from the passage of IIJA and IRA.

We are encouraged by stricter federal regulations that will further protect the health of every American that deserves to breathe clean air and live in a safe community. We look forward to further action by the EPA in the coming year.”

Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Nevada and includes medium and heavy-duty vehicles like public buses and semi-trucks. Electrifying our transportation sector is critical for clean air, job creation, energy security, and climate protection. While today’s EPA ruling is a step forward, more is needed to reduce soot pollution and advance environmental justice.

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