Governor Newsom, Attorney General Bonta, and CARB Lead Coalition in Defense of California’s Truck Emissions Regulations

OAKLAND – California Governor Gavin Newsom, California Attorney General Rob Bonta, and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) today led a multistate coalition in moving to intervene in lawsuits challenging the decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to authorize CARB regulations that would speed the adoption of zero-emission trucks. The regulations would help California tackle its significant climate and air quality challenges by reducing greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and other emissions from medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. Trucking and petroleum industry groups — but not vehicle or engine manufacturers — are among the petitioners seeking judicial review of EPA’s action to grant CARB’s request for waivers of preemption, which allowed these CARB regulations to move forward. California, along with a coalition of other states and cities, is moving to intervene to defend its ability to enforce it laws.

“Tackling truck pollution is one of the single most important actions California is taking to clean our air and protect the health of millions,” said Governor Newsom. “Truck pollution is hurting communities across our state – especially underserved communities who are on the front lines of the climate crisis. We did not back down against radical efforts to undo our zero emission vehicle rules and we won’t back down from defending these commonsense, life-saving clean truck policies.”

“It’s no secret that California has air quality challenges — that’s precisely why we are seeking court permission to defend EPA’s waiver for our critical truck emission regulations,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Premature deaths, childhood asthma, and cardiovascular problems are among some of the adverse health impacts experienced by those who live in areas with high truck activity, many of whom are lower income and people of color. These communities are also often being hit first and worst by climate change. This unfortunate reality demands action from us all.”

“Communities across our state have long endured some of the most polluted air in the nation, a public health and climate crisis that requires urgency and action,” said CARB Chair Liane Randolph. “We are taking an important step to defend our right to protect the health of Californians with emission standards that for decades have spurred necessary innovations in clean vehicle technology and put us on a path toward zero-emissions transportation.”

The truck emission regulations at issue include the following:

  • Advanced Clean Trucks regulation, which aims to accelerate the widespread adoption of zero-emission vehicles in the medium- and heavy-duty truck sector by requiring manufacturers of medium- and heavy-duty trucks to sell increasing numbers of zero-emission vehicles.
  • Zero Emission Airport Shuttle regulation, which would accelerate the adoption of zero-emission vehicle technology in airport shuttles at the 13 largest California airports, including Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), San Diego International Airport (SAN), and Sacramento International Airport (SAC).
  • Heavy-Duty Emissions Warranty regulation, which, among other things, would lengthen the period during which manufacturers must guarantee the emissions performance of their on-road diesel engines.

Under the federal Clean Air Act, California may request a waiver of preemption from EPA to enforce emission standards for new motor vehicles. EPA must grant a waiver request unless the record supports one of three, limited findings for denial. Most other states have a choice of adopting California’s standards to apply in their jurisdictions or relying instead on federal standards.

Joining California in filing the motion to intervene are the States of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, the Commonwealths of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, and the Cities of Los Angeles and New York.

A copy of the motion to intervene can be found here.