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EPA talks stricter heavy-truck emissions with its Cleaner Truck Initiative

While the EPA has been light on detail as to what the Cleaner Truck Initiative entails, we do know that it wouldn't be shown to the public until 2020.

EPA acting administrator Andrew Wheeler
The EPA's acting administrator wants to talk about cleaning up heavy truck emissions.
Bill Clark/Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency may have been operating in a more low-key manner since acting administrator Andrew Wheeler took over, but the agency made news this week with plans to rewrite its policies on heavy-duty truck emissions with something called the Cleaner Truck Initiative.

According to a report by the Los Angeles Times Tuesday, the EPA has offered few specifics on its plans but in its statement promised to enact rules that will reduce oxides of nitrogen emissions, which sounds good. It added though that it would also be removing regulations that the industry finds to be "costly and burdensome," which is enough to give us pause about the effects of this rewrite.

"This initiative will help modernize heavy-duty truck engines, improving their efficiency and providing cleaner air for all Americans," Wheeler said in a statement. "We are under no regulatory or court-ordered requirements to launch this initiative. We are doing it because it's good for the environment."

This administration has consistently moved to weaken environmental protections for the last two years. Still, fingers crossed! In any case, it will be a while before we get to see precisely what the Cleaner Truck Initiative has in store for the trucking industry since it's is set to be revealed early in 2020.