DES says no to higher emissions standards in New Hampshire

| 10/12/2001

New Hampshire has dropped its proposal of more stringent emissions for truck engines. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services was one of 20 states considering imposing California emissions standards on heavy-duty diesel engines within the state.

Some 20 states have been attempting to stop truck and bus manufacturers from using a two-year loophole in federal standards to produce and sell non-compliant engines. Kenneth A. Colburn, air resources director at DES, said, in making their decision, the department relied on assurances from engine makers that they would not backslide during the years 2005-06, when federal emissions standards will lapse because of a delay in rulemaking procedures, The Union Leader reported. Truckers and truck dealers had protested the rules complaining that DES was adopting the rules through rulemaking rather than through the legislative process, thus denying them public hearings. The Environmental Protection Agency locked down standards on diesel emissions as part of a case that alleged engine makers had evaded existing rules for 10 years. That case ended in 1998 with the industry paying out more than $100 million in fines and pledging to meet cleaner air standards two years ahead of schedule.

In 2007, all heavy-duty diesel trucks and bus engines must meet EPA rules that require a 95 percent cut in nitrous oxide emissions and a 90 percent reduction in soot emissions.