The proposal, backed by the Clinton Administration, seeks to cut truck emissions by more than 90% by the year 2010. Catalytic converters similar to those required on passenger cars would be mandated on new trucks starting with the 2007 model year.
Environmentalists and engine makers are expected to testify in support of the EPA's requirement to cut the sulfur in diesel fuel to a maximum of 15 parts per million, down from the present level of 500. Engine makers say they need low-sulfur diesel in order to make low-emission, fuel-efficient passenger vehicles.
However, trucking interests are concerned about the additional cost, and refiners have also generally opposed the rules. The EPA estimates that this reduction would cost about 4 cents more a gallon, while fuel refiners have said it would add up to 10 cents a gallon to the retail cost. The agency also says improved emissions systems to meet the standards would add about $1,500 to the price of a $150,000 diesel truck.
This is the next to last hearing in the series. The final hearing will be held Thursday, June 29, at the Doubletree Hotel in Denver.