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.