SCTA is proud to sponsor environmental programs and increase “green” awareness in the trucking industry.  We understand better than anyone that the continued association between trucking and pollution in our culture is misleading, and that is why we work to educate the community on the important recent advances the industry has made in an effort to become more environmentally responsible.

The trucking industry has made strides throughout the years to improve efficiency and make trucking operations greener.

Trucks Are Cleaner Than Ever

Diesel Emission Controls

In 2002, the industry began buying new trucks which incorporated exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) combined with other emission control technologies to reduce tailpipe emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by half.  In 2007, the new diesel trucks purchased by the industry began incorporating diesel particulate filters (DPFs) to reduce tailpipe emissions of particulate matter (PM) by 90 percent. These trucks also achieved the first half of a 90 percent reduction in NOx emissions which was fully implemented in 2010.  To illustrate the significant of these reductions, every 60 new trucks purchased today roughly equal the NOx and PM emissions produced by a single new truck purchased 30 years ago.

Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD)

To enable the use of these new emission reduction technologies, the trucking industry began transitioning to ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel in 2006. By late 2010, all of the highway diesel fuel sold in the United States has near-zero sulfur levels.

With nearly half a million heavy duty diesel trucks currently utilizing diesel particulate filters and new truck purchases further expanding the use of PM and NOx controls, emissions from heavy-duty diesel engines are projected to significantly decrease over the next decade.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, between 2007 and 2015, nationwide PM and NOx emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks will be reduced by more than half. By 2020, these emissions will be reduced by more than 75 percent.

Achieving Further Reductions

According to the Federal Highway Administration, trucks transport more than two-thirds of US freight tonnage.  By 2020, while trucking’s share of US freight tonnage is projected to increase, less than 40 percent of US freight related NOx and PM emissions are expected to be produced by trucks.  This achievement in cleaner air is primarily the result of the trucking industry’s investment in new trucks with advanced diesel engine emission control systems and the purchase of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel to power these engines.

Greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards developed jointly by EPA and DOT will take effect for new trucks beginning with model year 2014 equipment. The agencies estimate that this new rule will reduce CO2 emissions by about 298 million tons and save about 530 million barrels of oil over the life of model year 2014 to 2018 vehicles.



Partnerships and Programs


SmartWay® is an EPA program that reduces transportation-related emissions by creating incentives to improve supply chain fuel efficiency.

SCTA is proud to be a partner in EPA’s SmartWay program and we encourage all of our members to become partners.  While the trucking industry continues to make strides to become more environmentally responsible through technological advancements, the SmartWay program allows companies to discover how energy-efficient “green” trucking can help them save money and the environment.  For more information on the SmartWay program and how to become a member, visit http://www.epa.gov/smartway/

SC Gears Up for Green Growth Program

In 2010, SCTA was awarded funding from the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) as part of an EPA State Clean Diesel grant available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 

The program offered rebates to truck owners for the purchase and installation of EPA-verified auxiliary power units (APUs) on their truck(s). Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) supply cooling, heating and electrical power to commercial vehicles and provide both environmental and economic benefits.  They are proven to reduce engine idling time which reduces fuel use and subsequent emissions; resulting in fuel cost savings for truck owners and positive impacts on the environment.

The APUs that were awarded through this program allow for cleaner, more efficient movement of freight – something both companies and the environment can appreciate.