Truck Makers in Federal Appeals Court Over EPA Compliance

Trucks on Road

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.

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