The Obama administration is formally introducing its emission and fuel efficiency rules for heavy trucks and other freight-hauling vehicles, starting a 60-day countdown for public comment.
The Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are publishing their proposed regulation - more than 1,100 pages long, in the Nov. 30 issue of the Federal Register.
They have already unveiled most aspects of their proposal and this month held public hearings on it in Chicago and Cambridge, Mass.
Truck fleet operators speaking through the American Trucking Associations have already embraced it in principle, but the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association was waiting to see the formal proposal before commenting. Both groups have shown concern for how the new rules could increase their equipment costs.
Federal officials say the sharp efficiency improvements their new regulation would introduce, starting in model year 2014, will cut a truck's fuel costs enough to quickly cover any upfront costs.
The agencies will require reductions in fuel burn and emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from over-the-road combination tractors and vocational trucks and from heavy-duty pickups, delivery vans and buses.
The regulation would cover "companies that manufacture, sell, or import into the United States new heavy-duty engines" as well as the vehicles listed. Most equipment targeted under the rule would burn diesel fuel; some is gasoline powered.
The agencies also said future phases of the fuel efficiency rules could apply to the trailer as well as the tractor used in freight operations.
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