Photo: Utility Trailer Manufacturing

Photo: Utility Trailer Manufacturing

Another indication that the federal government may indeed regulate truck trailers— and tractor glider kits, too— under the Phase 2 GHG/MPG mandate came in the form of a “Notice of Data Availability” on the proposed rule jointly issued by the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Directed at those choosing to provide comment on the proposed rule, the agencies said that new “data and memoranda” has been placed in the Phase 2 rulemaking’s public docket.

The updated information touches on a range of elements of the proposal, including the “applicability of emission standards and certification responsibilities for trailers, glider vehicles, and glider kits.”

In a separate development, EPA has produced a “draft memorandum” that affirms its authority to regulate manufacturers of trailers and of glider kits concerning GHG emission limits, according to a recent Transport Topics news story.

Back in February, Utility Trailer Manufacturing stated that it, along with an industry association, had argued in their public comments on the GHG rule that the Clean Air Act limits the EPA to regulating powered vehicles, not trailers.

“EPA overstepped its authority because trailers are not motorized vehicles,” said Jeff Bennett, Utility’s vice president for engineering and product development, during a Feb. 15 webinar. “And there’s no legal basis for regulating trailers.”

Bennett also contended that EPA and NHTSA have greatly overestimated average highway speeds for trailers. The agencies claim in the Phase 2 proposals that trailers cruise at 65 mph for 86% of the time; and at 55 mph for 9% of the time and 5% at other speeds. But data given to Utility by three major fleets show that traffic congestion, delays at loading docks, and time parked in yards and terminals limit average speeds to much lower levels, according to Bennett.

The federal proposal calls for setting CO2 limits for 2021- to 2027-model trucks and tractors and 2018- to 2027-model-year trailers as entire vehicles – but also would set separate engine fuel-efficiency standards for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles.

The new standards would regulate trailers for the first time and would make glider kits subject to GHG limits. As proposed, the rule would require, starting in 2018, that engines used in glider kits meet the same standards as new vehicles. 

Comments on the proposed Phase 2 GHG/MPG rule are due on or before April 1.

Comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA–HQ– OAR–2014–0827 (for EPA’s docket) and NHTSA–2014–0132 (for NHTSA’s docket) may be submitted by one of the following methods:

  • Online via www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • Email to a-and-r-docket@epa.gov.
  • Mail to EPA: Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460. NHTSA: Docket Management Facility, M–30, U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Rm. W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
  • Hand Delivery to EPA: EPA Docket Center, EPA WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460. NHTSA: West Building, Ground Floor, Rm. W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

 

 

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