EPA Might Restrict Emissions from Light Duty Trucks to Offset More Renewables

Date: May 27, 2011

Source: News Room

The EPA may tighten existing criteria and toxic emission limits for light duty vehicles in order to offset increases in conventional air pollution from the added use of renewable fuels expected as a result of EPA's renewable fuels standard (RFS), which was designed to cut greenhouse gases (GHGs). The agency in its February "Action Initiation List" said it is currently writing a notice of proposed rulemaking for "Tier 3" vehicle emission and fuel standards and considering changes to the existing sulfur and fuel volatility standards. Paul Argyropoulos of EPA's Office of Transportation & Air Quality told a May 19 Department of Energy (DOE) meeting in Washington, DC, that it is "very likely" the agency will propose additional emission controls beyond those in Tier 2, in order to meet a 2007 energy law requirement to offset pollution increases from its RFS program. According to EPA's "Rulemaking Gateway" of pending regulations, EPA will issue a proposed Tier 3 rule in January 2012.

The 2007 energy law, which set goals for renewable fuels production, tasked EPA with completing a study to determine whether the renewable fuel volumes required under the RFS program "will adversely impact air quality as a result of changes in vehicle and engine emissions of air pollutants," as well as "promulgate fuel regulations to implement appropriate measures to mitigate, to the greatest extent achievable, considering the results of the study."

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