Navistar-EPA deal applauded by two competitors

May 7, 2010
Word of the deal reached between Navistar International Corp. and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that resulted in the OEM dropping the lawsuit it filed last summer against the EPA has been positively received this week by at least two top competitors

Word of the deal reached between Navistar International Corp. and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that resulted in the OEM dropping the lawsuit it filed last summer against the EPA has been positively received this week by at least two top competitors.

Navistar had said it withdrew that legal action once EPA had “promised to hold a public workshop or hearing to address issues Navistar raised in its federal court appeal of EPA’s certification policies for SCR-equipped diesel powered trucks.”

Engine makers and truck builders competing with Navistar in North America have all chosen to meet EPA’s 2010 diesel-emission regs by deploying SCR (selective catalytic reduction) aftertreatment technology. (Read more Navistar news from FleetOwner)

All those competitors were contacted by FleetOwner for comment on the Navistar deal, but only Cummins Engine and Daimler Truck North America (parent of Freightliner, Western Star and Detroit Diesel) responded with statements. A Paccar (parent of Kenworth and Peterbilt and manufacturer of Paccar engines) executive said the OEM does “not have any comment on the Navistar / EPA agreement on SCR policies.” Mack and Volvo did not respond either way.

The two companies that did respond both viewed the news entirely positively, pointing out the resolution removes uncertainty from the marketplace and underscores what they view as EPA’s support of SCR technology.

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“Cummins is pleased to know that a settlement was reached,” Christy Nycz, Cummins’ on-highway market communications manager, told FleetOwner. “We have been confident in our selection of SCR to meet the 2010 standards and feel this agreement shows that EPA continues to affirm its support of SCR technology.

“We understand that as part of the agreement EPA will sponsor a public workshop [on SCR certification] and we look forward to participating in that as well,” she continued. “We believe SCR is the only technology capable of meeting the 2010 regulations while providing fuel-economy benefits. And we stand firm on that decision.”

"SCR technology is the only currently available option for complying with the 2010 emission standards without the use of emission credits,” DTNA spokesperson Maria McCullough told FleetOwner.

“We are pleased that the uncertainty caused by questionable litigation is now eliminated,” she added, “and that the EPA remains committed to supporting SCR technology. Daimler Trucks North America will always work to provide the cleanest and most fuel efficient products to our customers."

In its now-withdrawn suit, Navistar had asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, DC to void EPA’s SCR certification polices “because they had been adopted by the EPA without the public process required by law, but instead following input only from the SCR engine makers.”

Navistar had charged that EPA was using those policies to allow SCR- equipped diesel powered trucks to operate for extended periods without any control of NOx emissions and is certifying SCR engines as meeting NOx emission requirements when they do not.

According to Navistar, the agreement it reached with EPA provides that the agency will “engage in a public process to reexamine its policies, for future 2011 and later model year engines” during which it will “provide a thorough review of EPA's policies regarding operation of SCR-equipped engines”. The company said that EPA also has promised to “ensure, among other things, that SCR equipped heavy duty diesel engines are designed to properly control emissions as required under applicable regulations.”

Exactly two weeks ago, Navistar resolved a similar lawsuit it had filed against the California Air Resources Board (CARB). That suit had alleged that CARB was improperly certifying 2010 diesel engines equipped with SCR aftertreatment systems to control emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx).

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