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U.S. court overturns emissions rules for heavy-duty truck trailers

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on Friday rejected greenhouse gas emission rules for heavy-duty trailers, ruling that two government agencies had exceeded their powers.

In 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) established rules requiring trailer manufacturers to adopt fuel-saving technologies such as side skirts and automatic pressure systems. tires. An industry group challenged the rule, which was suspended by the court pending review.

The administration of then-President Barack Obama said it was important to regulate the energy efficiency of the trailer portion of commercial semi-trailers “because large semi-trailers account for 60% of fuel consumption. and heavy vehicle carbon dioxide emissions. “

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The court ruled that if it allowed regulations on trailers, then “NHTSA could regulate bicycle racks, roof racks or anything similar that would impact the fuel efficiency of a vehicle. vehicle”. The court added, “The NHTSA can regulate tractors based on the trailers they pull, just like the EPA. But neither the NHTSA nor the EPA can regulate the trailers themselves.”

The EPA said that in 2016, up to a third of potential reductions in semi-trailer emissions could be achieved through regulation of trailer equipment and design alone.

The EPA and NHTSA did not immediately comment.

The Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association (TTMA), which had filed a lawsuit to block the rules, said it was still reading the ruling and did not immediately comment. The group had argued that the rules were inappropriate because the trailers do not consume fuel, as they are not self-propelled.

The TTMA said earlier that its members, which manufacture 90 percent of truck trailers in the United States, would incur “sunk compliance costs,” including from reconfiguring assembly lines.

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Reporting by David Shepardson and Sébastien Malo; Editing by Dan Grebler

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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