Tag Archive for 'Greenhouse gas'

Truck Fuel Consumption And GHG Regulations Proposed

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a joint notice of proposed rulemaking calling for both fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction standards applicable to medium- and heavy-duty trucks. This rulemaking was mandated by a 2007 law passed by Congress and an Executive Order issued by President Obama earlier this year. Public comments on the proposal are due to the agencies January 31, 2011.

The NTEA has been very active throughout the development of this proposal, and the unique concerns of final-stage manufacturers of work trucks have been significantly addressed.

The NTEA worked continuously to educate those writing the proposed regulations about the work truck industry. In doing so, the Association:

  • Stressed the vital nature of the work these trucks need to do and the process by which they are produced and sold.
  • Demonstrated how one chassis could be used to build numerous different trucks that may be used in very different ways.
  • Explained how body and equipment manufacturers interact with their distributors and the role of the chassis manufacturers in the production process.
  • Emphasized that vocational/work trucks need to be regulated very differently than long-haul tractors and that it would be unnecessarily complex and counterproductive to involve final-stage manufacturers and body/equipment manufacturers in the compliance process.

In their explanation of the just-published proposal, the EPA and NHTSA agree with the NTEA’s concerns and point out that involving body manufacturers and distributors in the compliance framework of this proposed rule would be too complex and that the widely divergent body styles and differing end uses of these trucks would make generalized body improvements of little value.

The proposed rule would create three categories with separate fuel consumption and GHG reduction regulations for each category. The categories are:

1. Combination Tractors 
2. Heavy-Duty Pickup Trucks and Vans 
3. Vocational Vehicles

Class 7 and 8 Combination Tractors Generally, these vehicles are meant for long-haul use and are manufactured in such a way that the engine and chassis manufacturers can control compliance with new fuel efficiency and emissions regulations. The EPA and NHTSA have concluded that achieving reductions in GHG emissions and fuel consumption from combination tractors requires addressing both the cab and the engine, and the EPA and NHTSA are each proposing standards that reflect this conclusion.

Heavy-Duty Pickup Trucks and Vans This category includes 8,501-14,000-lb. pickups and vans (excluding medium-duty passenger vehicles already regulated under corporate average fuel economy, known as CAFE). These vehicles will be subject to more of a CAFE-type regulation – a whole vehicle regulation expressed as grams/mile for GHGs and gallons per 100 miles for fuel consumption based on weight based measures such as payload and towing capacity and the presence of 4wd. The chassis manufacturers will be responsible for meeting an annual fleet average.

The EPA and NHTSA recognize that some of these vehicles will be used in the work truck industry and will be completed or altered by companies like NTEA members. As such, they propose to move any incomplete vehicles in this weight category to the vocational truck category and leave in this category cab-chassis that would also be completed by final-stage manufacturers in a manner similar to strip chassis.

In recognition of the NTEA’s concerns, the EPA and NHTSA propose that for those cab-chassis still subject to these CAFE-like regulations, the chassis manufacturers can treat these vehicles as equivalent to the complete van or truck product from which they are derived. The second-stage manufacturers would not be subject to any new requirements under this provision.

Vocational Vehicles The EPA and NHTSA point out that the diversity of body configurations and work uses of the trucks produced by companies such as NTEA members require regulations separate from standard pickup trucks or long-haul tractors.

The EPA and NHTSA propose that in this vocational vehicle category, the chassis manufacturers be the focus of the proposed GHG and fuel consumption standards. As they point out, a focus on the body manufacturers would be much less practical, since they represent a more diverse set of manufacturers and the part of the vehicle that they add has a very limited impact on opportunities to reduce GHG emissions and fuel consumption (given the limited role that aerodynamics plays in the types of lower-speed operation typically found with vocational vehicles.)

Summary Combination tractors would be subject to engine and full vehicle standards that begin in the 2014 model year. The proposed rules would require up to a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and fuel consumption by the 2018 model year.

Heavy-duty pickups and vans would be subject to separate gasoline and diesel standards affecting the engine and full vehicle. The proposed rules would phase in starting in the 2014 model year and require up to a 10% reduction for gasoline vehicles and 15% reduction for diesel vehicles by the 2018 model year. Second-stage manufacturers would not be subject to any new requirements.

Vocational vehicles would be subject to engine and tire standards starting in the 2014 model year that aim to achieve up to a 10% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by the 2018 model year. Second-stage manufacturers would not be subject to any new requirements.

Source: National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA)

U.S. Industrial Sector Stands Alone in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The American Materials Manufacturing Alliance (AMMA), a group of energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries (EITEs) that includes The Aluminum Association, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), and Portland Cement Association (PCA) today reported that between 1990 and 2008, industrials was the only sector of the U.S. economy in which greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions fell.  By contrast, during the same time period, GHG emissions rose in the commercial, electricity, residential, transportation and agricultural sectors.  Last week the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. industrial GHG emissions fell more than three percent in 2009 – an “unprecedented” reduction for the industrial sector for a single year.

Driven largely by energy efficiency improvements, U.S. industrial GHG emissions fell 5.9 percent between 1990 and 2008. Meanwhile, commercial GHG emissions went up 36.9 percent, electricity increased 30 percent, residential increased 27.3 percent, transportation increased 21.6 percent and agriculture increased 11.3 percent.

“We’re proud of the industrial sector’s proven record of enhancing energy efficiency and reducing GHG emissions, and we’re committed to further improvement,” said Cal Dooley, ACC president and CEO.   “Just last week, we honored twelve member companies  for implementing energy-efficiency improvements in 2009 that saved enough energy to power all the homes in a city the size of Dayton, Ohio, for one year.  Use of chemistry products in renewable energy and energy efficiency applications such as solar panels, wind turbines, building insulation and lightweight vehicles helps the rest of society save energy and reduce their GHG emissions, too.”

“We’ve taken the initiative to improve performance in energy efficiency, and we’ve reduced GHG emissions well beyond what would have been required under any international agreement” Tom Gibson, president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute, said.  “Since 1990, the steel industry has reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 33 percent. Before the onset of the recession, we were making more steel in the U.S. than we had ever before and we were doing it with and less energy and fewer emissions.”

“Energy efficiency is a smart strategy to help improve the environment while reducing operating costs and retaining good American jobs,” said Donna Harman, president and CEO of the American Forest and Paper Association.  “America’s forest products industry embraced renewable energy early on and today generates two-thirds of our own power on site from carbon-neutral, renewable biomass.  Our members have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions per ton of product by 14 percent since 2000, and while we are proud of the accomplishments we’ve made so far, we can achieve more with the right policies that protect our international competitiveness.”

“We’re proud of the improvements that our members have made in reducing their carbon footprints. The products that come from aluminum are contributing to energy savings and our manufacturing facilities are increasingly efficient,” stated Aluminum Association President Steve Larkin.

“The United States cement industry is dedicated to producing a superior product while addressing challenging manufacturing policies and procedures to improve energy efficiency.  This not only impacts our emissions and costs, but makes our communities better places,” said Brian McCarthy, Portland Cement Association president and CEO.  “The actions taken by our plants are at the forefront of manufacturing technology and position the industry as a key contributor to the development of the latest energy expertise.”

EPA Administrator Jackson Sends Letter To Senators

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson issued a letter responding to a letter sent to her the evening of February 19 by eight U.S. Senators asking about the agency’s plans for 2010.

In the letter, the administrator outlines several of the decisions she has made for 2010-2011:

  • No facility will be required to address greenhouse gas emissions in Clean Air Act permitting of new construction or modifications before 2011.
  • For the first half of 2011, only facilities that already must apply for Clean Air Act permits as a result of their non-greenhouse gas emissions will need to address their greenhouse gas emissions in their permit applications.
  • EPA is also considering a modification to the rule announced in September requiring large facilities emitting more than 25,000 tons of greenhouse gases a year to obtain permits demonstrating they are using the best practices and technologies to minimize GHG emissions. EPA is considering raising that threshold substantially to reflect input provided during the public comment process.
  • EPA does not intend to subject smaller facilities to Clean Air Act permitting for greenhouse gas emissions any sooner than 2016.

Full text of the letter: http://epa.gov/oar/pdfs/LPJ_letter.pdf

Landfills Turn Trash into Power and Greenhouse Gas Reductions

Projects recognized for innovative use of landfill gas

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing eight landfill methane capture projects for their innovation in EPAgenerating renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The winners include one of the largest landfill gas (LFG) to liquefied natural gas facilities in the world, located in Livermore, Calif.

“We are proud to recognize Landfill Methane Outreach Program partners who are turning trash into a clean and profitable source of energy,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “These projects, and others like them, are helping us transition into a clean energy economy and make important greenhouse gas reductions.”

Methane, a primary component of LFG, is a GHG with more than 20 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Using LFG provides a significant energy resource, prevents GHG emissions, and reduces odors and other hazards associated with emissions. This year’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) winning projects will avoid the emissions of 546,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, the equivalent of annual GHG emissions from nearly 100,000 passenger vehicles.

Awards were given in three categories: Projects of the Year were given to the University of New Hampshire EcoLineTM Project, Rochester, N.H.; Jefferson City, Missouri Renewable Energy Project, Jefferson City, Mo.; The Altamont Landfill Resource and Recovery Facility, Livermore, Calif.; Ox Mountain LFG Energy Project, Half Moon Bay, Calif.; Sioux Falls Landfill & Poet LFG Pipeline, Sioux Falls, S.D. 
and the Winder Renewable Methane Project, Winder, Ga. The State Partner of the Year was given to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and the Community Partner of the Year was awarded to the Kent County Department of Public Works, Byron Center, Mich.

EPA’s LMOP has assisted with more than 450 LFG energy projects over the past 15 years. The United States currently has about 509 operational LFG energy projects. The LFG electricity generation projects have a capacity of 1,563 megawatts (MW) and provide the energy equivalent of powering more than 920,000 homes annually.

The direct-use projects provide an additional 304 million standard cubic feet of LFG per day and provide the energy equivalent of heating more than 715,000 homes annually. Direct-use LFG energy projects do not produce electricity, but instead use LFG as an alternative to replace another fuel such as natural gas or coal.

LMOP is a voluntary assistance and partnership program that reduces GHG emissions by supporting LFG energy project development.  The program also assists countries throughout the world in developing landfill methane reduction projects through the international Methane to Markets Partnership.

More information on the awards: http://www.epa.gov/lmop/partners/award/index.html

More information on the LMOP program: http://www.epa.gov/lmop