Trucking and farm groups join lawsuit against EPA emissions regulations

Updated Jun 20, 2024
Line of big rigs on a highway

The major advocacy groups for the petroleum products industry, the voice of independent trucking operators, and two major farming groups have joined orces to oppose the latest anti-pollution regulations aimed at heavy-duty trucks and other equipment.   

The American Petroleum Institute (API) today, Tuesday, June 18, filed a lawsuit in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) heavy-duty vehicle emissions standards for model years (MY) 2027-2032. 

“Today, we are standing up for consumers who rely on trucks to deliver the goods they use every single day,” said API Senior Vice President and General Counsel Ryan Meyers. “The EPA is forcing a switch to technology that simply does not presently exist for these kinds of vehicles – and even if it were someday possible, it will almost certainly have consequences for your average American. This is sadly yet another example of this administration pushing unpopular policy mandates that lack statutory authority, and we look forward to holding them accountable in court.” 

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, National Corn Growers Association, and American Farm Bureau Federation joined API as co-petitioners in the lawsuit. 

“Small business truckers make up 96% of trucking and could be regulated out of existence if the EPA’s unworkable heavy-duty rule comes into effect,” said Todd Spencer, president, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. “This rule would devastate the reliability of America’s supply chain and ultimately increase costs for consumers. Mom and pop trucking businesses would be suffocated by the sheer cost and operational challenges of effectively mandating zero emission trucks, but this administration appears intent on forcing through its deluge of misguided environmental mandates."

In April, the Biden administration finalized new federal emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles (including commercial vehicles). In the final rule, EPA projects that there would need to be significant deployment of zero emission vehicles (ZEV) throughout the HD fleet to meet emissions standards. For example, over 40% of vocational vehicles (work trucks) would need to be ZEVs by MY 2032. Additionally, long-haul tractors, which currently have no ZEV deployment, would need to go from zero percent today to 25% of the fleet by MY 2032.

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Estes honored for safety record

For the 23rd consecutive year, Estes Express Lines has been honored by the American Trucking Association for its safety record across multiple categories. Estes recently won six national safety awards when competing in the ATA’s National Truck Safety Contest, which assesses driver accident rates, and the ATA’s National Industrial Safety Contest, which evaluates employee injury rates. 

The awards Estes received include: 

Estes Express Lines    

  • 2nd place - Truck Safety Contest - LTL - Line-haul Division (Over 100 million miles)   
  • 2nd place - Truck Safety Contest - LTL - Local Division (Over 100 million miles)   
  • 2nd place - Industrial Safety Contest - LTL Division (Over 5,000 employees)   

Estes West   

  • 1st place – Truck Safety Contest – LTL - Line-haul Division (10-100 million miles)   
  • 1st place – Truck Safety Contest – LTL - Local Division (10-100 million miles)   
  • 2nd place - Industrial Safety Contest - LTL Division (1,001-5,000 employees) 

"Safety is a core value that’s embedded in every facet of Estes’ operations— both on and off the road — whichmakes ATA’s recognition that much more special," said Vice President of Safety and Risk Management Curtis Carr. "Protecting the public, our customers, and our employees is our top priority, and Estes reinforces this by encouraging all employees to prioritize and practice safety.” 

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