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US announces new emissions standards for trucks and buses

(AFP)

The United States on Monday announced tougher emissions standards on trucks and buses starting from 2027, and said it would spend almost $1.4 billion on expanding green public transit.

The proposed new standards for gasoline and diesel heavy vehicles would place stricter limits on nitrogen oxides (NOx) that cause smog and soot, and set new greenhouse gas standards from 2030.

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“Seventy-two million people are estimated to live near truck freight routes in America and they’re more likely people of color and those with lower income,” Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) director Michael Regan told reporters at an event for the announcement. 

“Those overburdened communities are directly exposed to pollution that leads to respiratory and cardiovascular problems.”

The new limits will apply to new vehicles made in 2027 onwards, and include school buses, transit buses, commercial delivery trucks, and short-haul tractors.

The EPA estimated it will prevent 2,300 deaths and 18,000 of childhood onset asthma by the year 2045.

Vice President Kamala Harris meanwhile announced nearly $1.4 billion to help state and local governments purchase US-built electric transit buses, via funding that was allocated in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed last year.

“Imagine a future: the freight trucks that deliver bread and milk to our grocery store shelves and the buses that take children to school and parents to work, imagine all the heavy duty vehicles that keep our supply lines strong and allow our economy to grow. Imagine that they produce zero emissions,” she said.

The EPA is also awarding $17 million for electric zero-emission and low-emission school buses from previously approved funding.

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