Ethanol producers call for increased octane in new efficiency rules

Several ethanol producers from Iowa and South Dakota—representing more than one billion gallons of capacity—called on the ethanol community to focus their near term advocacy efforts on fuel efficiency rules that are likely to be a top priority for the incoming Biden Administration. In an open letter to the ethanol... Read more →


In a new report, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Air Enforcement Division (AED) estimates that the emissions controls have been removed from more than 550,000 diesel pickup trucks in the last decade. The AED report includes only tampering that involves the complete removal and disablement of emissions controls hardware.... Read more →


CARB approves significant changes to stationary source emissions reporting requirements; reportable chemicals approximately triple to more than 1300

The California Air Resources Board has approved significant changes to the requirements for reporting emissions from stationary sources to help communities assess air pollution at a local level. The improvements to the emission inventory will help with prioritizing efforts to further reduce emissions of pollutants that cause smog as well... Read more →


EPA collects penalties for alleged automobile ‘defeat device’ violations by two Iowa companies

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached settlements with two Iowa companies for allegedly tampering with car engines to render emissions controls inoperative, in violation of the federal Clean Air Act. According to EPA, Menzel Enterprises Iowa Inc. of West Des Moines installed “defeat devices” in at least five... Read more →


EEA: 3/4 of EU urban population exposed to toxic air as governments fail to cut emissions

Most Europeans living in cities are still breathing air that is dangerous to their health, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA) in a new report; governments are not doing enough to cut toxic emissions at source, campaigners warn. Data show that harmful emissions, especially from farming and domestic heating,... Read more →


IMO Environment Committee approves draft mandatory regulations to cut ship carbon intensity; technical and operational

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) has approved draft new mandatory regulations to cut the carbon intensity of existing ships. This builds on current mandatory energy efficiency requirements to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping. The MEPC also agreed the terms of reference for assessing... Read more →


NHTSA seeking public comment on automated driving system safety principles

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is seeking public comment on the potential development of a framework of principles to govern the safe behavior of automated driving systems (ADS) in the future. The advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) was submitted to the Federal Register... Read more →


China-based study concludes using political incentives to fight pollution is costly and inefficient

Many of China’s environmental regulations set targets for local governments that are used to evaluate the possibility of promotion for local officials. A new study shows that this well-intentioned centralized system of regulating may be ineffective in reaching national goals. The study looked at water quality regulations and found that... Read more →


Study associates acute exposure to higher ozone levels to higher risk of cardiac arrest

Exposure to higher ozone concentrations in the air is significantly associated with a higher risk of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), according to preliminary research to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Resuscitation Science Symposium 2020. The virtual meeting is being held 14-16 November 2020 and will feature the most... Read more →


Working in collaboration with its Volvo LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) project partners—CALSTART, Trillium, and Greenlots—and other industry organizations, Volvo Trucks has helped facilitate the modification of California utility rules to give private entities the ability to sell electricity as a motor fuel at publicly accessible charging stations... Read more →


Study finds significant link between PM2.5 pollution and neurological disorders in US

PM2.5 pollution was significantly associated with an increased risk of hospital admissions for several neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other dementias, in a long-term study of more than 63 million older US adults, led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The study, conducted... Read more →


California’s latest greenhouse gas data shows that while the state continues to stay below its 2020 target for emissions, there is much more work to do to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. The California Air Resources Board released GHG emissions data for 2018 showing that emissions remain below 1990 levels... Read more →


California Energy Commission approves $384M plan to accelerate zero-emission transportation; 50% of funds to benefit disadvantaged communities

The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved a $384 million plan for critical clean transportation investments to boost the adoption of zero-emission cars and trucks and help the state reach its climate, clean energy and public health goals. The plan focuses on closing gaps in zero-emission fuels and infrastructure to support... Read more →


CARB warns vehicle and engine manufacturers about hiding software or hardware changes that affect emissions

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) sent a letter to automakers and other vehicle and engine manufacturers encouraging them to disclose by the end of the year any unapproved hardware or software programs that impact emissions control systems in vehicles sold in California. This letter is part of CARB’s ongoing... Read more →


CARB fines Del Monte $2M for violations of OGV at Berth regulation

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced a settlement with Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc. for $1,990,650—the largest penalty to date related to clean air violations for the state’s Ocean-Going Vessel At Berth Regulation. Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc., with its principal location in Coral Gables, Florida, is... Read more →


The California state legislature passed and the Governor signed into law a bill (AB-2663) that lowers the Use Fuel Tax rate of dimethyl ether (DME) from $0.18 to $0.06 per gallon of DME used and $0.06 per gallon of DME-propane fuel blend used on or after 1 July 2021 (the... Read more →


The California Center for Jobs & The Economy has released an updated report (earlier post) on the progress of ZEV sales in the state during the first half of 2020, drawing on sales data from the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA). For a baseline, the report uses the goal... Read more →


Nearly half—48%—of rail tank cars carrying Class 3 flammable liquids in 2019 in the US met the new safety requirements, up from 33% in 2018, according to Fleet Composition of Rail Tank Cars Carrying Flammable Liquids: 2020 Report released today by the US Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.... Read more →


California Governor orders all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California be ZEVS by 2035; medium-and heavy duty trucks by 2045

California Governor Gavin Newsom has issued an executive order requiring sales of all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035 and additional measures to eliminate harmful emissions from the transportation sector. Following the order, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) will develop regulations to mandate that 100% of in-state... Read more →


Mitsui O.S.K. Lines pays $253K to CARB for violating at-berth regulations

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has paid $253,300 in penalties to the California Air Resources Board for violating the Ocean-Going Vessel At-Berth Regulation. The rule requires container, passenger and refrigerated cargo ships to reduce emissions while docked at California’s busiest ports, including Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Hueneme, San Francisco and San... Read more →


European Parliament votes to phase out conformity factor for new car emissions under real driving conditions by Sep 2022

As of September 2022, new cars must meet EU limits on NOx emissions under real driving conditions to comply with air pollution limits, the European Parliament has voted. Data on car emissions such as NOx had been obtained through laboratory tests. The EU is the first region in the world... Read more →


EPA denying petitions for small refinery RFS exemptions for past compliance years

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is denying petitions for small refinery exemptions for past compliance years, the so-called “gap-filling” petitions for the 2011-18 compliance years. In total, the agency had received 68 retroactive exemption requests from petroleum refiners seeking to skirt obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS); the... Read more →


US reaches $1.5B settlement with Daimler AG over emissions cheating in Mercedes-Benz diesels; civil penalty of $875M

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), USDepartment of Justice (DOJ), and California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced a proposed settlement with Daimler AG and its American subsidiary Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC resolving alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and California law associated with emissions cheating. Under the proposed settlement, lodged... Read more →


CARB approves first emissions reduction plans for three Southern California communities

The California Air Resources Board has approved the first three Community Emissions Reduction Programs (CERP) within the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) under Assembly Bill 617. Residents living in the three communities are heavily impacted from high levels of air pollution sources including ports and inland warehouses traffic.... Read more →


CARB targets heavy-duty diesel vehicle noncompliance in the Imperial Valley

The California Air Resources Board settled eight diesel cases totaling more than $130,000 for violations of the Truck and Bus Regulation in the Imperial Valley. The Truck and Bus Regulation protects public health by reducing emissions of diesel particulate matter, oxides of nitrogen, and other pollutants from diesel-fueled vehicles. This... Read more →


In one of the first comprehensive assessments of the fuel economy standards in the United States, researchers from Princeton University and the University of Tennessee found that, over their 40-year history, the standards helped reduce reliance on foreign oil producers, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and saved consumers money. Transportation Statistics... Read more →


NJ boosts gasoline tax 22.5% to $0.507/gallon effective 1 October, diesel to $0.577

New Jersey’s Department of the Treasury announced on Friday that lower fuel consumption trends, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, will necessitate a gas tax increase of $0.093 per gallon in order to ensure compliance with the 2016 law that requires a steady stream of revenue to support... Read more →


The California Air Resources Board has approved a multi-pronged regulation that will significantly reduce NOx emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks. The “Heavy-Duty Low NOx Omnibus Regulation” will require manufacturers to comply with tougher emissions standards, overhaul engine testing procedures, and further extend engine warranties to ensure that emissions of NOx... Read more →


CARB approves updated “At-Berth” regulation, expanding efforts to cut pollution from ships in California ports

The California Air Resources Board approved a new regulation designed to reduce pollution further from ocean-going vessels while docked at California’s busiest ports. The rule builds on progress achieved by the At-Berth Regulation adopted in 2007. That rule has achieved an 80% reduction in harmful emissions from more than 13,000... Read more →


Daimler reaches agreements in principle to settle regulatory ($1.5B) and civil ($700M) proceedings in the US regarding diesel emissions

Daimler AG and its subsidiary Mercedes-Benz USA LLC (MBUSA) have reached an agreement in principle with US authorities to settle civil and environmental claims regarding emission control systems of approximately 250,000 diesel passenger cars and vans in the United States. The involved US authorities are the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),... Read more →


Coltura: Supreme Court precedent means states can require all new vehicles sold be electric

Recent US Supreme Court precedent has opened the door for states to enact laws requiring all new cars sold in the state to be electric as of a certain date, according to a paper by the nonprofit Coltura published in the University of Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law.... Read more →


The California Air Resources Board will consider the proposed Heavy-Duty Low NOx Omnibus Regulation on 27 August 2020. The proposed regulation is intended to ensure reductions in smog-forming NOx and protect communities most impacted by air pollution. On-road heavy-duty vehicles are an essential part of the state’s economy. These vehicles... Read more →


Specialty chemical company Clariant and Eta Bio, a company of the Pavlovi family, running a leading business in the agricultural sector in Bulgaria, have signed a license agreement for Clariant’s sunliquid cellulosic ethanol technology. The agreement marks the fourth signed license deal for Clariant’s sunliquid technology. Eta Bio has been... Read more →


EPA OIG to evaluate EPA’s actions on final light-duty fuel efficiency rule

The Office of Inspector General of the US Environmental Protection Agency plans to begin an evaluation of the EPA’s actions on the final Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule Part 2. (Earlier post.) The SAFE rule reduces the increase in stringency of CAFE and CO2 emissions to about 1.5% each... Read more →


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for airplanes used in commercial aviation and large business jets. This proposed action would align US standards with the international CO2 emissions standards adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2017, making domestically manufactured aircraft competitive... Read more →


US EPA proposes to retain existing NAAQS for ozone

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to retain, without changes, the existing, more stringent 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone. The standards, established in 2015, are currently set at 70 parts per billion (ppb), in terms of a 3-year average of the annual fourth-highest daily... Read more →


European automakers request 6-month postponement of new Euro standards due to COVID-19

Mike Manley, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and the current European Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA) president, has sent a letter to Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission, requesting a 6-month postponement of the application dates of key upcoming EU standards,... Read more →


Navistar settles air quality violations in California for $2 million

Truck manufacturer Navistar Inc. has paid $2 million to resolve allegations that it altered heavy-duty vehicle engines from their certified design, potentially causing excess diesel emissions and negatively impacting air quality. The Illinois-based company modified its vehicle calibrations from their certified design through “running changes” in the engines of its... Read more →


EPA adds 1-bromopropane to list of hazardous air pollutants; first addition since 1990

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted petitions to add 1-bromopropane (1-BP) to the list of hazardous air pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act (CAA). This is the first time since 1990 that EPA has granted a petition to add a hazardous air pollutant to the CAA. Petitioners... Read more →


The Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association (MECA) released a new report quantifying a county level MOVES emissions inventory in the continental US (CONUS) 48 states and subsequent air quality modeling report of a potential scenario should the US EPA Cleaner Trucks Initiative (CTI) be finalized as a national program at... Read more →


CARB adopts electric truck rule: Advanced Clean Trucks

The California Air Resources Board has adopted a first-in-the-world rule—the Advanced Clean Trucks(earlier post)—requiring truck manufacturers to transition from diesel trucks and vans (Class 2b to Class 8) to electric zero-emission trucks beginning in 2024. By 2045, every new truck sold in California will be zero-emission. The proposed regulation has... Read more →


Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced the “Clean Cars Nevada” initiative, which will evaluate the adoption of new regulations to provide Nevadans with more choices for low and zero emission electric passenger cars and trucks at dealerships throughout the state beginning in 2024. Also referred to as “Clean Car Standards” which... Read more →


Southwest Research Institute engineers have developed the next generation of clean diesel engine technology to reduce hazardous nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide emissions while minimizing fuel consumption. Working with regulatory agencies, vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, SwRI combined engine modifications with integrated aftertreatment technology and control strategies to reach near-zero... Read more →


American Honda Motor to pay $1.9M in penalties in California for small engine emissions violations

The California Air Resources Board has reached a settlement of $1,927,800 with American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (Honda) to resolve clean-air violations related to the sale of small off-road engines in California. The violations involved small off-road engines used in generators and lawn and garden equipment. Through extensive tests in... Read more →


York, Empa study finds retrofitting of VW diesel engines was successful

The VW diesel scandal began on 18 September 2015. On the opening day of the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Notice of Violation: VW diesel engines with 1.6 and 2.0 liters displacement (type code EA 189) contained illegal software designed to manipulate... Read more →


New data shows that motor vehicles generate more than €440 billion in taxation per year for national governments in the major EU markets plus the UK, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) reports. The taxes fall into three broad categories: vehicle acquisition (VAT, sales tax, registration tax); ownership (annual circulation... Read more →


Traffic accidents and crash-related injuries and deaths were reduced by half during the first three weeks of California’s shelter-in-place order, which began March 20. The reductions save the state an estimated $40 million per day—about $1 billion over the time period—according to an updated special report released from the Road... Read more →


German KBA approving hardware retrofits to reduce NOx emissions for passenger cars

Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) has approved various retrofit systems to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. This means that Euro 4 or Euro 5 diesel cars can be retrofitted and exempted from traffic restrictions in certain regions. In addition to new, low-emission vehicles and emission-reducing software solutions, hardware retrofits offer... Read more →


EPA proposes retaining current NAAQS for particulate matter

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to retain, without changes, the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM) including both fine particles (PM2.5) and coarse particles (PM10). The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to set NAAQS for criteria pollutants—currently PM, ground-level ozone (O3), carbon... Read more →


FTA allocating $25B to help US public transportation systems with COVID-19 reality

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a total of $25 billion in federal funding allocations to help US public transportation systems respond to shift in market reality caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding is provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed... Read more →