Sources: CP staff; National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Silver Spring, Md.
Testifying in the first of two public hearings on “Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles,” NRMCA Vice President, Compliance and Regulatory Affairs Kevin Walgenbach informed Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration officials of potential unintended consequences if the regulations as proposed are applied to mixer trucks.
With an eye to incremental fuel economy gains and lower net CO2 emissions levels for 2021–2027 model years, the agencies address mixers under a Phase 2 Vocational Vehicles umbrella, standards for which “could be met through improvements in the engine, transmission, driveline, lower rolling resistance tires, workday idle reduction technologies, and weight reduction.”
“If forced to reduce payload in order to meet low weight tolerances, the [ready mixed concrete] industry will then be forced to use more trucks, making more trips to deliver the same amount of concrete,” Walgenbach observed. “More trips means increased emissions, increased fuel consumption, more trucks sitting in traffic, and longer hours for industry drivers.”
“The ready mixed concrete industry is merely asking for the opportunity to be compliant with Phase 2 and still be productive. To this end, NRMCA recommends that EPA and NHTSA, instead of pushing weight reductions, advocate for increased weight tolerances in amounts large enough to offset the weights of new equipment and technology that will be employed for compliance with Phase 2.”
While NRMCA is concerned with costs and technology reliance surrounding the proposed rulemaking, the public hearing focused on truck weight matters. Following an early-August meeting in Chicago, a second hearing is scheduled August 18 in Long Beach, Calif. Under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0827 and Docket ID No. NHTSA- 2014-0132, the agencies invite public comments through September 17 at the rulemaking portal.