An estimated 72 million people in the United States live along truck freight routes, and these people are more likely to be exposed to pollution that leads to respiratory and cardiovascular problems, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

But a new EPA proposal was made with the hopes of reducing the pollution coming from heavy-duty vehicles.

What will the proposal accomplish? Large and heavy vehicles — such as buses, semitrucks, and delivery vans — are often considered the biggest polluters on the road.

  • The proposal released by the EPA on Monday will be the biggest change for these larger vehicles in more than 20 years, according to The New York Times.
  • The goal of this proposal is to reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions by 90% by 2031, according to The New York Times.
  • The standards would be imposed on heavy-duty vehicles in all models starting in 2027. This is predicted to reduce emissions by 60% in 2045, according to the EPA.

By 2045, the EPA estimates that adherence to the proposal in heavy-duty vehicles will result in the following benefits:

  • Almost 2,100 fewer premature deaths.
  • A decrease of 6,700 hospital and emergency room visits.
  • Fewer than 18,000 cases of childhood asthma.
  • Fewer than 3.1 cases of asthma symptoms.
  • Fewer than 78,000 lost days of work.
  • Fewer than 1.1 million lost school days.
  • Economic benefits of up to $250 billion.
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The White House takes action against pollution: This proposal is a part of the “Strengthening American Leadership in Clean Cars and Trucks,” order that was imposed by President Joe Biden.

  • The purpose of this order is to put America on the path to lead the world in the production of clean and efficient cars and trucks, per the White House.
  • The goal of the order is to have 50% of cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. be zero-emission vehicles, according to The White House website.

What will the standard be for heavy-duty vehicles? The EPA proposes that manufacturers of large vehicles lengthen the warranties on emissions controls and impose new exhaust treatment systems, according to The Associated Press.

Truckers respond: The Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association stated that the EPA is ignoring input from drivers.

  • The organization claims that the proposal will “force small-business truckers off the road due to cost and reliability problems,” according to AP.

Jed Mandel, president of the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association, said that the new standard is not “technologically feasible.”

  • “We’re worried about the cost. There is a potential of adverse impacts on the economy and jobs. Nobody wants to see union jobs laid off. Regular lunch-pail, blue collar workers,” said Mandel, according to The New York Times.
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