Implementing federal regulations on fuel economy and emissions for commercial trucks has become a legal battle. Truck makers are split over whether one of the major OEMs should be granted the ability to pay penalties instead of complying with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard. Navistar International Corp. paid a penalty to allow its non-conforming engines to go to market. Daimler Trucks North America, Mack Trucks, and Volvo Group North America are challenging EPA rules following its 2001 heavy-duty engine standards for nitrogen oxides (NOx).
The EPA wanted to see 95% of NOx emissions reduced by 2010. That led to a split among truck makers on how to comply – Daimler, Mack, and Volvo have used selective catalytic reduction technology and did meet the standard; Navistar relied on a different technology and failed to comply, hence paying a penalty of $2,000 per engine.
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has been hearing the case on the EPA ruling and whether Navistar’s efforts could comply for a Clean Air Act exemption that allowed for the engine to enter the market if the penalty fine was paid. Daimler and other OEMs are claiming the exemption unfairly penalized their successful efforts to comply.