Trucking company warns new EPA standards will kill mom-and-pop businesses
The new standard set to take effect in 2027 aims to reduce harmful nitrogen oxide pollution
Smaller trucking businesses are feeling financial pressure after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released new standards for semi-trucks to lower air pollution.
Andrew John of the John N John Trucking Company warned that the costs associated with the new standards could kill many mom-and-pop trucking businesses.
"They go out of business," John said on "Varney & Co" Tuesday. "They go out of business, and we all know how important small businesses are to the economy."
For the first time in two decades, the EPA released new standards that are 80% stronger than current ones and require semi-trucks to cut harmful nitrogen oxide pollution.
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"What they're doing is they're including specialized filters, and then we have to include DEF, which is diesel exhaust fluid, which sort of eliminates the nitrous oxide," John explained.
The standard is set to take effect in 2027.
The EPA estimates by 2045, the rule will result in up to 2,900 fewer premature deaths, 6,700 fewer hospital admissions and 18,000 fewer cases of childhood asthma. Among other health benefits, the EPA also estimates the standard will stimulate $29 billion in annual net benefits.
"But there's a lot more that entails with it. A lot more technology, a lot more equipment that comes on the trucks, which means more diagnostics, more things for the mechanics and technicians to learn to fix," John said.
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Some smaller trucking companies fear the additional costs for these environmentally friendly vehicles could push them out of the industry.
The EPA estimates the new requirements could cost an extra $8,304 per vehicle for a big rig with a heavy diesel engine, but those in the industry are preparing for the price to be higher.
John argued financial support from the government "would help" businesses curb some of the expenses associated with the new rule.
"We could use possibly tax rebates or some sort of grant [that] would help us out to help manage these new hurdles," John said. "And everything's becoming more stringent."
Because of its potential impact on the trucking industry, a group of 34 Republican senators is pushing for the EPA rule to be overturned.
In a February press release, Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., said, "The Biden Administration is saddling the trucking industry with an onerous regulation that would jack up vehicle costs and hurt good paying jobs. This aggressive EPA rule - which will hit mom-and-pop truck operations the hardest - is also ineffective because it incentivizes operators to keep using older, higher-emitting trucks for longer."
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For many trucking businesses, the new EPA standard has put them in a difficult position. John acknowledged that while he is pro-environment, the costs and implications of this new standard could be detrimental to the economy and particularly to small businesses.
"I'm pro-environment, but I don't want to be the first generation to go out of business."
Fox News' Rebekah Castor contributed to this report.