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EPA Publishes Final Phase 2 Rule for Green House Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a joint set of greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for new medium and heavy-duty vehicles and engines on August 16, 2016. The new standards apply to companies that manufacture, sell or import into the United States Class 2b through 8 trucks, including:

  • combination tractors,

  • all buses,

  • vocational vehicles including municipal, commercial, recreational vehicles, and commercial trailers

  • and ¾-ton and 1-ton pickup trucks and vans.

Environment, TreesThe heavy-duty category incorporates all motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 lbs. or greater, and the engines that power them, except for medium-duty passenger vehicles already covered by the greenhouse gas standards and corporate average fuel economy standards issued for light-duty model year 2017-2025 vehicles. This “Phase 2” of greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards is a continuation of the Obama Administration’s efforts under the Climate Action Plan.

The new rule enacts stricter emissions and fuel efficiency standards for each of the applicable categories of regulated vehicles and engines. The new standards are based on utilization of current technologies and fostering and implementing new technologies, with sufficient lead time to develop and implement them using a phased approach to reduce overall implementation cost to the industry. This Phase 2 rule apply to vehicles manufactured through 2027. The final rule will also implement standards to control the leakage of greenhouse gases from vehicle air conditioning systems.

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About this Author

Linda E. Benfield, Foley Lardner, toxic tort litigation attorney, groundwater contamination lawyer
Partner

Linda E. Benfield is the managing partner of the Milwaukee office of Foley & Lardner LLP, and is an environmental lawyer with the firm. Ms. Benfield has 28 years of experience in litigation and counseling in all aspects of environmental law, including air and water permitting and compliance issues, and solid and hazardous waste handling and disposal. She has extensive experience on the cutting edge of Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Superfund, and RCRA enforcement, as well as citizen suit litigation, settlement strategies, and related cost recovery, insurance...

414.297.5825
Gary S. Rovner, Foley Lardner, Environmental Contamination Lawyer, Exposure Regulation Attorney
Partner

Gary S. Rovner is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. His practice focuses on all aspects of environmental law, including related litigation and regulatory compliance. Mr. Rovner’s client services combine a thorough, substantive knowledge of federal and state environmental regulatory schemes with extensive experience in general and environmental litigation. He is a member of the firm’s Environmental Regulation Practice and the Automotive Industry Team.

Mr. Rovner has extensive experience defending environmental and toxic tort litigation matters before administrative bodies and state and federal courts. He has played a key role in the successful defense and settlement of a number of groundwater contamination cases, including wrongful death and multi-party and class action lawsuits involving questions of causation and damages alleged to result from contaminant exposure.

312-832-4918