21st July 2024

By Katelyn Roedner Sutter and Daniel Barad

Final month, the California Air Assets Board unanimously voted to undertake the Superior Clear Fleets Rule, which units buy necessities for personal and authorities fleets to more and more transition to zero-emission vehicles, and units a 100% gross sales requirement for producers in 2036.  Advocates and communities throughout the board lauded CARB for taking a critically needed step to scrub up our air, significantly in communities related to freight corridors, ports and warehouses, due to this fact most impacted by truck air pollution.

Heavy-duty vehicles are the biggest supply of smog-forming nitrogen oxide emissions, and emit practically 40% of the state’s particulate matter – regardless of being solely about 7% of the autos within the state.  As such, the ACF rule will end in an estimated 5,000 fewer untimely deaths from health-impacting air pollution and generate $57 billion in well being financial savings by 2050. A lot of the well being advantages of the ACF will likely be realized by residents in communities uncovered to excessive truck site visitors.

Implementation of the ACF rule is eminently possible. Each main semitruck producer is providing or creating an electrical model of their vehicles, and there are greater than 125 zero-emission medium-duty and heavy-duty truck fashions presently in manufacturing or growth in the united statesand that is projected to extend 300% in 2023 alone.

An audit on the Superior Clear Fleets Rule is unhealthy for California and unhealthy for the nation Click on To Tweet

This rule was unanimously accredited by CARB with clear assist from communities and the legislature. Now, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee is contemplating asking the State Auditor to evaluation the rule earlier than it has even been totally enacted. The audit course of is a critically essential device that the legislature has to make sure accountability and measure efficiency. This explicit audit, nonetheless, could be untimely at greatest and probably deeply dangerous to scrub air efforts in California and nationally. That is political weaponization of the impartial State Auditor’s Workplace to undermine a sturdy and open public course of that resulted within the adoption of a big well being protecting rule.

Along with broad assist and clear financial and well being advantages for the ACF, there are a number of explanation why this motion is misguided and harmful:

  • CARB didn’t take the passage of this regulation evenly. The ultimate language is the fruits of three years of workshops, evaluation and stakeholder engagement.  The tip consequence displays many iterations of regulatory textual content to end in a sturdy, protecting rule.
  • The rule has but to be finalized, it has not been reviewed by the Division of Finance and the Workplace of Administrative Regulation, a course of mandated by the legislature to guage such gadgets because the feasibility of a brand new rule and the price of implementation.  Endeavor an audit now, earlier than this course of performs out is untimely, violates established procedural guidelines and could be unprecedented.
  • Undermining the regulation with an politically motivated and ill-timed listening to to contemplate an audit of the ACF opens the door for polluting pursuits to delay implementation of those lifesaving guidelines via lawsuits, challenges to California’s distinctive regulatory authority and different unhealthy religion authorized assaults — in flip stopping constituents in every single place from benefiting from breathable air.

The legislature shouldn’t be strong-armed into auditing this rule by particular pursuits who search to upend progress. We urge removing of the ACF audit from the June 26 committee listening to for the nice of Californians and the setting.

Daniel Barad is Western States Coverage Supervisor at Union of Involved Scientists

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