California’s plan to phase out diesel trucks is approved by the EPA: NPR
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Biden administration cleared the way on Friday for California’s plan to phase out many diesel trucks, part of the state’s effort to dramatically cut planet-warming emissions and improve improve air quality in high traffic areas such as ports along the coast.
The US Environmental Protection Agency’s decision allows California – which has the worst air pollution in the nation – to require truck manufacturers to sell more and more zero-emission trucks over several decades. next. This regulation applies to many types of trucks including vans, semi-trailers and full-size pickup trucks.
“Under the Clean Air Act, California has long had the authority to address pollution from cars and trucks. Today’s announcement allows the state to take additional steps in reducing emissions from transportation. loads through these new regulatory actions,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement.
Governor Gavin Newsom applauded the state’s leadership in setting ambitious vehicle emissions standards.
“We are leading the quest to remove dirty trucks and buses – the most polluting vehicles – from our streets, and other states and countries are lining up to follow his lead. us,” Democrats said in a statement.
The EPA typically sets standards for exhaust emissions from passenger cars, trucks and other vehicles, but California has previously been exempt from imposing its own stricter standards. Newsom’s office said other states could then follow, and eight other states plan to adopt California’s trucking standards. In a letter last year, attorneys general from 15 states, Washington, DC and New York City urged the EPA to approve California’s trucking standards.
The transportation sector accounts for nearly 40% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions. Newsom moved to ban the sale of new all-gasoline cars by 2035. The EPA did not act on those rules.
The new truck standards are aimed at truck manufacturers and those that own a large number of trucks. Companies that own 50 or more trucks will be required to report information to the state about how they use these trucks to transport goods and provide shuttle services. Manufacturers will have to sell a higher percentage of zero-emission vehicles starting in 2024. Depending on the type of truck, zero-emission vehicles will have to account for between 40% and 75% of sales by 2035. .
Paul Cort, an attorney with the environmental nonprofit Earthjustice, said California has a long history of adopting stricter emissions standards, even before the federal Clean Air Act. signed into law.
“We had a vehicle problem,” Cort said. “We’re addicted to our cars and trucks, and that’s a big cause of air pollution we’re fighting for.”
But Wayne Winegarden, a senior fellow at the Institute of Pacific Studies, said it was too early to adopt California’s standards.
“The charging infrastructure is definitely not there,” he said of electric vehicle power stations. “And in addition to the charging infrastructure, we also have a grid problem.”
While California was hit by atmospheric rivers this winter that flooded most of the state, California has suffered from drought for years and in September, a flash of sunshine. The brutal heat has put its grid to the test.
The announcement comes as advocates are pushing for more ambitious exhaust emissions standards in other states and at the national level.
“We are not just fighting for California, we are fighting for all communities,” said Jan Victor Andasan, an East Yard Community activist for Environmental Justice. The group advocates for better air quality in and around Los Angeles, the nation’s second most populous city known for its heavy traffic and dense fog.
Andasan and other environmental activists around the country are members of the Moving Forward Network, a 50-member group based at Occidental University in Los Angeles that recently met with EPA officials to discuss Discuss national regulations to limit emissions from trucks and other vehicles.
But some in the trucking industry are concerned about how costly and burdensome the transition will be for truckers and companies.
“State and federal regulators working together on these unrealistic patchwork of regulations fail to capture the true cost,” said Chris Spear, president of the American Trucking Association. of designing, building, manufacturing, and operating trucks that deliver their groceries, clothing, and merchandise.” , in a statement.
“They will certainly be heartbroken when these imaginary projections lead to catastrophic disruption beyond the California border,” he added.
Federal pollution standards for heavy-duty trucks are also getting stricter. The EPA has issued rules that will cut nitrous oxide pollution, which contributes to smog formation, by more than 80% by 2027. The agency will propose limits on greenhouse gas emissions this year.
The agency hopes new standards and government investment will lead to zero-emissions electric and hydrogen fuel cell trucks carrying most of the nation’s goods.
California activists Andasan and Brenda Huerta Soto, an organizer of the People’s Collective for Environmental Justice, are troubled by the impact of pollution from trucks and other vehicles on communities there are large populations of people of color living near busy ports in Los Angeles, Oakland and other cities as well as warehouse-dense inland areas.
Huerta Soto works at the Inland Empire in Southern California, where a large number of trucks pass by to transport goods. In addition to the pollution problem caused by trucks, many cars, trucks and trains passing through this area also burden people with noise, odors and pollutants that these vehicles emit, Ms. speak.
“We have the technology and we have the money” to move towards zero-emission vehicles, she said.