President Obama announced this week his deadline for issuing the next generation of fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, including 18-wheelers, refuse trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles. Building on the existing truck rule and making further reductions, the new rule will be finalized in March of 2016 and regulate model year 2018 and beyond. In developing the rule, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are expected to work with manufacturers, the trucking industry and fleet owners and environmental groups.
To mark the occasion, the Heavy-Duty Fuel Efficiency Leadership Group, an informal alliance of the country’s largest truck fleets, top engine manufacturers, and leading technology suppliers released a statement of principles they hope will inform and guide regulators as they develop the new national fuel-saving rule. Waste Management, a founding member of the Leadership Group, has the largest trucking fleet in the waste management industry. Waste Management hopes that both participating as the first vocational fleet member of EPA’s Smart Way partnership program, and contributing to the Leadership Group’s dialogue with the Administration will allow us to share our experience and successes with EPA and inform their rule development.
Several years ago, Waste Management began deploying clean, energy-efficient vehicles that burn natural gas and also began building the needed fueling infrastructure to support their use. WM’s strategy is to replace 80% of its new refuse vehicles with natural gas trucks and build 25 new natural gas fueling stations each year. Achieving our goal will replace 350 million gallons of diesel fuel with natural gas and eliminate 3.5 million metric tons of GHGs.
“Waste Management looks forward to working collaboratively with EPA and NHTSA to develop a successful Phase II program,” said David P. Steiner, CEO. “In 2012, we achieved fuel efficiency gains and truck emission reductions of 20 percent, surpassing our sustainability goal of 15 percent for each by 2020. We plan to achieve more, and hope our continuing fleet conversion to natural gas will inform Phase II program development by maintaining market, fleet and technology choices while achieving significant environmental and energy security benefits,” continued Steiner.