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The EPA Greenlights California Truck Emission Rules, Drawing Industry Outcry


California Takes the Lead

California Governor Gavin Newsom hailed the decision as a major win in the fight against pollution, declaring that “we’re leading the charge to get dirty trucks and buses — the most polluting vehicles — off our streets, and other states and countries are lining up to follow our lead around the world.” However, not everyone is on board with this ambitious initiative.

Trucking Groups Speak Out

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has criticized the decision, arguing that the EPA, not California, should set emissions rules. The ATA also raised concerns about the lack of required infrastructure, stating that “California’s rhetoric is not being matched by technology.” Similarly, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) expressed skepticism about the feasibility of electric trucks, citing their high cost and lack of charging infrastructure.

Waiver Allows Enforcement

The EPA’s waiver authorized the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to enforce the Advanced Clean Trucks rule and other regulations, but the state needed White House authorization because its proposed rules exceeded EPA requirements. The waiver doesn’t require carriers to purchase and use zero-emissions equipment, only for OEMs to sell it. A Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) is a company that produces and sells components or products of a product to another company, who then markets it under their own branding. OEMs are commonly found in the automotive and computing industries. Nevertheless, the Clean Freight Coalition, consisting of trucking groups, was created to promote the industry’s progress on emissions and lobby against unrealistic timelines.

Mixed Reactions

While California’s zero-emissions truck mandate is a significant step toward a cleaner future, it has raised concerns among trucking groups about the feasibility of the initiative. The trucking industry and regulators recognize the need to reduce emissions. However, there are worries about the costs and complexities of transitioning to zero-emissions vehicles. To make progress towards cleaner air, these stakeholders must work together to identify solutions that are beneficial both environmentally and economically.


Despite the criticisms, the EPA’s decision to allow California to enforce its Advanced Clean Trucks rule represents a significant milestone in the fight against pollution. California has a long-standing history of taking proactive steps towards protecting the environment. The state’s recent call for zero-emissions trucks is the most recent testament to its dedication to lessening emissions and improving air quality.

At the same time, the trucking industry is facing significant difficulties as they attempt to transition to electric vehicles. Some businesses have already invested in electric trucks, but many are still dealing with the financial and practical implications of such a change. The lack of charging infrastructure, as well as the higher upfront costs of electric trucks, remains a major hurdle for many businesses.

Despite these challenges, the push for cleaner air and a more sustainable future is gaining momentum. With the Biden administration’s emphasis on environmental initiatives, and more and more states and countries adopting ambitious emissions targets, it’s clear that the trucking industry will need to adapt to remain competitive and relevant in the years ahead.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, while California’s Advanced Clean Trucks rule has drawn criticism from some in the trucking industry, it represents an important step toward a more sustainable future. As the industry continues to evolve, it will be important for regulators, businesses, and stakeholders to work together to find practical solutions that are good for both the environment and the economy.