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1) Apr 24 -- Public Hearing for Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Years 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium-Duty Vehicles

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing a two-day virtual public hearing to be held on May 9 and May 10, 2023, on its proposal titled, “Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Years 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium-Duty Vehicles,” which was signed by Administrator Regan on April 11, 2023. An additional session may be held on May 11, 2023, if necessary to accommodate the number of testifiers that sign up to testify. EPA is proposing new, more stringent emissions standards for greenhouse gases (GHG) and criteria pollutants for light-duty vehicles and Class 2b and 3 (“medium-duty”) vehicles that would phase-in over model years 2027 through 2032. In addition, EPA is proposing GHG program revisions in several areas, including off-cycle and air conditioning credits and vehicle certification and compliance. EPA also is proposing new standards to control refueling emissions from incomplete medium-duty vehicles, and battery durability and warranty requirements for light-duty and medium-duty plug-in vehicles.

FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-07965  

2) May 5 -- Under its Clean Air Act authority, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing new, more stringent emissions standards for criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases (GHG) for light-duty vehicles and Class 2b and 3 (“medium-duty”) vehicles that would phase-in over model years 2027 through 2032. In addition, EPA is proposing GHG program revisions in several areas, including off-cycle and air conditioning credits, the treatment of upstream emissions associated with zero-emission vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in compliance calculations, medium-duty vehicle incentive multipliers, and vehicle certification and compliance. EPA is also proposing new standards to control refueling emissions from incomplete medium-duty vehicles, and battery durability and warranty requirements for light-duty and medium-duty plug-in vehicles. EPA is also proposing minor amendments to update program requirements related to aftermarket fuel conversions, importing vehicles and engines, evaporative emission test procedures, and test fuel specifications for measuring fuel economy.

Written comments must be received on or before July 5, 2023.

FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-07974 [263 pages]

3) Apr 12 [press release] -- Building on rapid advancements and investments in clean vehicle manufacturing, including investments in domestic manufacturing in the Inflation Reduction Act, EPA’s proposed standards would deliver on President Biden’s agenda to tackle the climate crisis

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new proposed federal vehicle emissions standards that will accelerate the ongoing transition to a clean vehicles future and tackle the climate crisis. The proposed standards would improve air quality for communities across the nation, especially communities that have borne the burden of polluted air. Together, these proposals would avoid nearly 10 billion tons of CO2 emissions, equivalent to more than twice the total U.S. CO2 emissions in 2022, while saving thousands of dollars over the lives of the vehicles meeting these new standards and reduce America’s reliance on approximately 20 billion barrels of oil imports. . . .

Since President Biden took office, the number of EV sales has tripled while the number of available models has doubled. There are over 130,000 public chargers across the country – a 40% increase over 2020. The private sector has also committed more than $120 billion in domestic EV and battery investments since President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law. The new standards proposed today reflect the advancements and investments in clean vehicle manufacturing, which have been accelerated by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda and complement the ongoing transition in the market towards cleaner vehicles.

The new proposed emissions standards for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles for model year (MY) 2027 and beyond would significantly reduce climate and other harmful air pollution, unlocking significant benefits for public health, especially in communities that have borne the greatest burden of poor air quality. At the same time, the proposed standards would lower maintenance costs and deliver significant fuel savings for drivers and truck operators.

-- Through 2055, EPA projects that the proposed standards would avoid nearly 10 billion tons of CO2 emissions (equivalent to more than twice the total U.S. CO2 emissions in 2022).  The proposed standards would reduce other harmful air pollution and lead to fewer premature deaths and serious health effects such as hospital admissions due to respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses.
-- By accelerating adoption of technologies that reduce fuel and maintenance costs alongside pollution, the proposed standards would save the average consumer $12,000 over the lifetime of a light-duty vehicle, as compared to a vehicle that was not subject to the new standards.
-- Together, the proposals would reduce oil imports by approximately 20 billion barrels.
-- Overall, EPA estimates that the benefits of the proposed standards would exceed costs by at least $1 trillion.

The first set of proposed standards announced today, the “Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Years 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium Duty Vehicles,” builds on EPA’s existing emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks for MYs 2023 through 2026. The proposal retains the proven regulatory design of previous EPA standards for light-duty vehicles, but leverages advances in clean car technology to further reduce both climate pollution and smog- and soot-forming emissions.

Between 2027 and 2055, the total projected net benefits of the light- and medium-duty proposal range from $850 billion to $1.6 trillion. The proposal is expected to avoid 7.3 billion tons of CO2 emissions through 2055, equivalent to eliminating all greenhouse gas emissions from the entire current U.S. transportation sector for four years and would also deliver significant health benefits by reducing fine particulate matter that can cause premature death, heart attacks, respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, aggravated asthma, and decreased lung function. EPA analysis shows that severe health impacts related to particulate matter exposure will also be reduced – including lung disorders (including cancer), heart disease, and premature mortality.

EPA’s proposal considers a broad suite of available emission control technologies, and the standards are designed to allow manufacturers to meet the performance-based standards however works best for their vehicle fleets. EPA projects that for the industry as a whole, the standards are expected to drive widespread use of filters to reduce gasoline particulate matter emissions and spur greater deployment of CO2-reducing technologies for gasoline-powered vehicles.

The proposed standards are also projected to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. Depending on the compliance pathways manufacturers select to meet the standards, EPA projects that EVs could account for 67% of new light-duty vehicle sales and 46% of new medium-duty vehicle sales in MY 2032. The proposed MY 2032 light-duty standards are projected to result in a 56% reduction in projected fleet average greenhouse gas emissions target levels compared to the existing MY 2026 standards. The proposed MY 2032 medium-duty vehicle standards would result in a 44% reduction compared to MY 2026 standards. . . .

The proposed standards align with commitments made by automakers and U.S. states as they plan to accelerate clean vehicle technologies in the light- and medium-duty fleets in the next 10 to 15 years. Car and truck companies are moving to include electric vehicles as an integral and growing part of current and future product lines, leading to an increasing diversity of clean vehicles for consumers.

These developments are bolstered by President Biden’s investments in America, which provide unprecedented resources to support the development and market for clean vehicle technologies and associated infrastructure and represent significant investment in expanding the manufacture, sale, and use of zero-emission vehicles. As these technologies advance, battery costs continue to decline and consumer interest in electric vehicles continues to grow. President Biden’s legislative accomplishments are also supporting critical generation of clean electricity and production of clean hydrogen needed to decarbonize transportation. EPA considered this rapid innovation in its assessment that tighter emissions standards are feasible.

EPA’s proposals are informed by robust and inclusive stakeholder engagement with industry, labor, advocates, and community leaders. EPA’s proposals will be published in the Federal Register and available for public review and comment, and the agency will continue to engage with the public and all interested stakeholders as part of the regulatory development process.

Proposed Rule: Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Years 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium-Duty Vehicles https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-07974

More information on environmental justice and transportation https://www.epa.gov/mobile-source-pollution/environmental-justice-and-transportation

Press release: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/biden-harris-administration-proposes-strongest-ever-pollution-standards-cars-and

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