The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued, on May 5, 2023, a request for information seeking input on the availability of zero-emission technologies in the heavy-duty vehicle and port sectors toward establishing funding programs under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). EPA requests comment from manufacturers, distributors, installers, fleet operators, and port operators about their products and experience with zero-emission technologies.
In particular, EPA is seeking information to assess the availability, performance, and pricing of domestically manufactured zero-emission trucks, zero-emission port equipment, electric charging, and other infrastructure needs for zero-emission technologies. EPA also requests information on the current and planned domestic manufacturing of these technologies. The Build America Buy America Act generally requires various materials and components used in federally funded infrastructure projects to be produced domestically, but EPA may be able to issue waivers.
There are three key topics under the IRA relevant to this notice:
- The Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles (HDV) Program. EPA will award grants and rebates ($1 billion total) to support transitioning to zero-emission HDVs, including charging equipment and supporting activities. Recipients may be states, municipalities, American Indian tribes, or nonprofit school transportation associations. Funding may be used to help replace Class 6 or 7 HDVs with zero-emission vehicles or to install and maintain charging infrastructure as well as other supporting activities. Among the funds provided by the IRA, EPA must award $400 million to replace vehicles located in an area designated as nonattainment with any National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS).
- Clean Ports Program. EPA will award grants and rebates ($3 billion total) to implement zero-emission port equipment or technology at ports and supporting activities. Recipients may be port authorities, a governmental agency with jurisdiction over a port, an air pollution control agency, or a private entity that applies in partnership with one of the named categories of public entities. Funding may be spent to support purchasing zero-emission port equipment or technology as well as that which captures 100% of emissions produced by an oceangoing vessel at berth. Among the funds provided by the IRA, EPA must award $750 million to ports located in an area designated as nonattainment with any NAAQS.
- Charging and Fueling Infrastructure. Under both of the above programs, EPA is seeking information about domestic sourcing of charging and other fueling infrastructure. The programs EPA is creating will need to reflect the extent to which domestic sourcing is available now, or may be available soon, for charging and other relevant infrastructure.
U.S. companies engaged in manufacturing or import of zero-emission trucks, zero-emission port equipment, electric charging, and other infrastructure should evaluate commenting on the open docket and continuing engagement with EPA during the development of these funding programs. The docket for public comment is open on regulations.gov until June 5, 2023.