The trucking industry has made huge progress in becoming green, but it still isn’t perfect. Heavy duty vehicles are the fastest growing source of Green House Gas emissions. This fact among others is what has raised the question what is the trucking industry going to do to reduce emissions?
What Has Already Been Done?
In 2007 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required that beginning in 2007 truck engine’s harmful emissions must be reduced by 90%. This was a huge step towards a green industry. Again in 2010 the EPA demanded more reforms within the trucking industry which would reduce dangerous emissions. The reduction in emissions brought about by these two EPA requirements has led to vast improvements in the health and safety of the community. Without these first steps, trucks would still be emitting huge amounts of harmful gasses. An easy way to visually identify the improvements that have been made is to notice how few trucks emit black smoke while driving down the highway. Before the EPA first stepped in at the beginning of 2007, almost every truck let out large clouds of black smoke. Now, however, black smoke from trucks is a rare sight to see.
What More Can be Done?
The improvements that have been made in response to the EPA’s attempts to reduce emissions have been very successful. With that being said, however, there is still a lot more that could be done to keep pollution low and to promote the health and safety of our highways. One step which can be taken by truck drivers to reduce the amount of pollution that their trucks are causing is to take the most efficient route possible. This tactic reduces the amount of fuel being burned. This tactic does have it’s drawbacks. Many drivers are paid by how many miles they cover, which gives them an incentive to take the least efficient route and burn more fuel. In order to change this system, trucking companies would have to alter their compensation structure.
Who Benefits from a Green Industry?
It is common knowledge that reducing Green House Gases is a good thing for the health and safety of everyone. It is less commonly understood, however, that trucks which use emissions reducing technology are inherently more fuel efficient. This means that less money is spent on fuel, and in the long run the new technology pays for itself in fuel savings. The fact that trucks which are built to a higher standard of environmental awareness are more fuel efficient, points to a possible incentive for truck companies to go green. This means that not only does the community at large benefit from reduced emissions, but so do trucking companies and manufacturers.
The EPA required truck manufacturers to reduce their trucks emissions by upwards of 90% in 2007 and tightened restrictions on emissions again in 2010. Trucking companies can help make our highways healthier by changing their incentive structures from miles driven to loads delivered, in order to reduce the amount of fuel that drivers are burning. These improvements would benefit the community in terms of healthier air, and the trucking industry in terms of more efficient technology.
Source: CCJ Digital
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