As you are all too well aware, despite EPA’s shockingly weak new ozone standard, the big polluter lobbies continue to rail. (As one corporate guy put it to me, “protocol dictates we bitch.”) And now there’s even talk of going to Congress to try for the umpteenth time to relax the Clean Air Act itself. Well, the lobbyists do have to create work for themselves, I suppose. And don’t forget the various members of Congress who want those campaign contributions to keep on coming...
What I want to flag for you this morning is a positive opportunity to make further reductions in ozone: stronger emission standards for smog-forming nitrogen oxides from new big-rig trucks. This is an excellent counter to the polluter arguments that nothing more can be done to reduce air pollution.
The smog-riddled state of California has already identified better truck standards as a clean-up strategy and has begun pressing the US EPA to set better standards: http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/tech/techreport/diesel_tech_report.pdf
That call to action has now been amplified by Northeastern states in new comments to EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas standards for big trucks. See at http://www.nescaum.org/documents/nescaum-heavy-duty-prop-rule-phase-2-comments-20151001-final.pdf
As the Northeastern states put it:
EPA should address the potential for further NOx reductions at the earliest possible date.Heavy-duty trucks represent the second largest source of NOx emissions in the NESCAUM region, and our states remain very concerned about the need to further control NOx emissions from this sector. We thank the agencies for acknowledging the challenge that states continue to face in this regard, and we urge EPA to begin a rulemaking without delay to ensure that the next generation of trucks is not only more fuel efficient but also much less of a contributor to states’ air quality and public health problems.
So you might want to keep your eyes on this issue moving forward. The ball would seem to be in EPA’s court.