Extendable trailer specs

Obama-era trailer emissions standards reversed

The Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association won an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit that removes trailers from emissions requirements passed in 2016.

Greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards for engines and medium and heavy-duty vehicles from the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration were the first regulations to impose standards emissions on trailers. The standards would have forced trailer manufacturers to adopt a combination of fuel-saving technologies, such as aerodynamic side skirts, automatic tire inflation systems, and more.

A panel of three judges agreed that the EPA did not have the power to regulate trailers under the Clean Air Act, and two of the three judges agreed that the NHTSA authority also did not cover trailers. in this context.

The TTMA said it was satisfied with the court’s opinion and believes that the decision to add equipment to the trailers should be left to the trucking companies themselves.

“We are delighted that the court found the errors in the development of the EPA and NHTSA rules,” said Jeff Sims, president of the TTMA. “It puts decision-making in the hands of the people who best understand their operations – the hauliers. Each road haulier can now ultimately choose which equipment will or will not benefit from the fuel saving devices in the context of their specific operations. You could have two fully equipped trailers, for example, one used for on-highway service, and it will become more fuel efficient through the devices, while the other trailer will be used for city pickup and delivery, and it will not become more efficient in terms of fuel economy and in fact, with the extra weight, will use more fuel.

Sims added that his organization supports efforts to reduce GHG emissions, but argues that phase 2 regulation was not the best way to do it.

“TTMA members have always shared the same goals as the trucking industry and federal and state regulators to reduce GHG emissions and save fuel, but there is a better way to get there than ‘EPA and NHTSA had mandated,’ he said. “We remain open to sensible regulation reflected after the very successful EPA Smartway voluntary program which has been in place for over a decade now.”

Regarding the EPA’s authority for the requirements, the TTMA opposed the regulation, arguing that the EPA did not have the authority to regulate non-driving parts of a vehicle under the Clean Air Act.

Because the trailers do not have an engine, they are not “motor vehicles,” circuit judge Justin R. Walker said of the court’s opinion.

According to the ruling, the EPA’s Clean Air Act defines “motor vehicle” to exclude anything that does not propel itself, and because trailers are not “self-propelled,” the EPA cannot use Clean Air. Act to regulate the effects of trailers on greenhouse gas emissions. .

Walker went on to say that the EPA’s key problem in its argument was that “a tractor is a motor vehicle before it is part of a semi-trailer. With or without a trailer, the tractor is self-propelled and designed for transporting people or goods on the road. Trailers (and trailer manufacturers) are therefore different from the parts of a motor vehicle (and their manufacturers) required for self-propulsion.

Regarding the authority of NHTSA, the court said that although Congress did not define the term “vehicle” in the Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act, which Congress passed in 2007 to force NHTSA to establish fuel economy standards for certain vehicles, multiple references to “fuel economy” in legislation “put the term” vehicle “in a context limited to machines that use fuel added Walker, who excludes trailers from NHTSA authority in this context.

Another judge on the three-judge panel, Judge Patricia A. Millett, agreed with the other two judges that the EPA’s authority does not apply to trailers. However, she objected to the court’s opinion on the authority of the NHTSA.

“NHTSA acted under a provision of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that directed NHTSA to establish fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy commercial road vehicles,” he said. she declared. “Unlike the Clean Air Act, the Energy Independence Act contains no definition of the term ‘vehicle’ other than to regulate its operation and status on the road. Given this focal point, the NHTSA has fairly reasonably applied a long-established definition of vehicles that includes commercial trailers. The majority view that NHTSA’s interpretation somehow runs counter to a non-existent “simple” text does not hold water.

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