July 23, 2024

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California’s plan to phase out diesel trucks has been approved by the EPA: NPR

California’s plan to phase out diesel trucks has been approved by the EPA: NPR

Trucks line up to enter the Port of Oakland cargo terminal on November 10, 2021, in Oakland, California. And President Joe Biden’s administration paved the way for California’s plan to phase out a wide range of diesel trucks, which are part of the state. Efforts to significantly reduce greenhouse emissions and improve air quality in high traffic areas.

Noah Berger/AP


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Noah Berger/AP

Trucks line up to enter the Port of Oakland cargo terminal on November 10, 2021, in Oakland, California. And President Joe Biden’s administration paved the way for California’s plan to phase out a wide range of diesel trucks, which are part of the state. Efforts to significantly reduce greenhouse emissions and improve air quality in high traffic areas.

Noah Berger/AP

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA — The Biden administration on Friday paved the way for California’s plan to phase out a wide range of diesel-powered trucks, as part of the state’s efforts to dramatically cut greenhouse emissions and improve air quality in high-traffic areas like ports. along the coast.

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s decision allows California – which has the worst air pollution in the country – to require truck manufacturers to sell an increasing number of zero-emission trucks over the next two decades. The rule applies to a wide range of trucks including box trucks, semi-trailers, and even large passenger vans.

“Under the Clean Air Act, California has longstanding authority to address pollution from cars and trucks. Today’s announcement allows the state to take additional steps to reduce transportation emissions through these new regulatory actions,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement.

Gov. Gavin Newsom praised the state’s role as a leader in setting ambitious vehicle emissions standards.

“We’re leading the charge to get the dirtiest trucks and buses — the most polluting vehicles — off our streets, and other states and states are lining up to follow suit,” the Democrat said in a statement.

The EPA typically sets standards for tailpipe emissions from passenger cars, trucks and other vehicles, but California has historically been granted waivers to enforce its own, more stringent standards. Other states could then follow suit, Newsom’s office said, and eight more states plan to adopt California truck standards. In a letter last year, attorneys general from 15 states, Washington, D.C., and New York City urged the Environmental Protection Agency to approve standards for trucks in California.

The transportation sector accounts for nearly 40% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions. Newsom has already moved to ban the sale of all new gasoline-powered cars by 2035. The EPA has not acted on those rules.

The new truck standards target companies that make trucks and those that own large quantities of trucks. Businesses with 50 or more trucks are required to report to the state on how these trucks are used to ship goods and provide shuttle services. Manufacturers will have to sell a higher percentage of zero-emission vehicles starting in 2024. Depending on the truck segment, zero-emission vehicles will have to make up 40% to 75% of sales by 2035.

California has a long legacy of adopting stricter exhaust emissions standards, even before the federal Clean Air Act was signed into law, said Paul Cort, an attorney with the environmental nonprofit Earthjustice.

“We have a problem with the car,” Kurt said. “We are addicted to our cars and trucks, and this is a huge cause of air pollution that we are fighting.”

But Wayne Weingarden, a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute, said it was too early to adopt the California standards.

“The charging infrastructure is definitely not there,” he said of power plants for electric cars. “On top of the charging infrastructure, we have network problems.”

While California was hit this winter by atmospheric rivers that drenched much of the state, it has suffered years of drought conditions and, in September, a brutal heatwave that put its power grid to the test.

The announcement came as advocates push for more ambitious exhaust emissions standards in other countries and at the national level.

“We’re not just fighting for California, we’re fighting for all communities,” said Jan Victor Andasan, an activist with the East Yard Environmental Justice Society. The group calls for better air quality in and around Los Angeles, the nation’s second most populous city known for heavy traffic and heavy smog.

Andasan and other environmental activists from around the country who are part of the Moving Forward Network, a 50-member group based at Occidental College in Los Angeles, met with EPA officials recently to discuss national regulations for reducing emissions from trucks and other vehicles.

But some in the trucking industry worry about the cost and stressful transition the transition will be for truck drivers and businesses.

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“State and federal regulators that collaborate in this unrealistic jumble of regulations don’t understand the true costs of designing, building, manufacturing, and operating trucks that transport groceries, apparel, and commodities,” said Chris Speer, president of the American Trucking Association. , in the current situation.

“They will surely feel the pain when these fanciful predictions lead to catastrophic unrest beyond California’s borders,” he added.

Federal pollution standards for heavy trucks are getting stricter. The Environmental Protection Agency has issued rules that will cut nitrogen oxide pollution, which contributes to smog, by more than 80% in 2027. The agency will propose limits on greenhouse gas emissions this year.

The agency predicts that new standards and government investment will lead to zero emissions for electric and hydrogen fuel cell trucks carrying most of the country’s freight.

California activists Andasan and Brenda Huerta Soto, an organization with the group The People for Environmental Justice, are alarmed by the impact of pollution from trucks and other vehicles on communities with large populations of color who live near busy ports in Los Angeles, Oakland. Other cities as well as inland areas are dense with warehouses.

Huerta Soto operates in Southern California’s Inland Empire, where a large concentration of trucks pass through to transport goods. She added that in addition to the pollution caused by trucks, the many cars, trucks and trains that travel through the region burden the residents with the noise, odors and pollutants that these vehicles emit.

“We have the technology, and we have the money” to move toward zero-emission vehicles, she said.