The California Air Resources Board recently approved the Advanced Clean Fleets rule, which will shift all truck sales to zero emissions by 2036. The new rule will focus on large fleets of diesel trucks to address the smog problem California has faced for decades.
The new rule will deliver $26.5 billion in public health benefits in California, according to a press release.
“California’s lung-searing air quality crisis requires bold moves from our state’s leaders, and today’s vote to pass the Advanced Clean Fleets rule is the kind of critical action we need,” Paul Cort, director of Earthjustice’s Right to Zero campaign, said. “Diesel trucks are the worst polluters on our roads, pumping an especially harmful form of air pollution into communities living in the shadow of ports and freeways. This new truck rule will have profound health and economic benefits not just here, but in every other state that adopts these clean air protections.”
A study conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists—a national nonprofit organization comprised of scientists and students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology—found medium and heavy-duty trucks to be the most polluting sector in the U.S. While they are just 10 percent of the vehicles on the roads, they make up 25 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, the study said.
“Frontline communities across California who breathe in deadly diesel pollution every day can finally get some relief with the Advanced Clean Fleets rule,” Andrea Vidaurre, senior policy analyst for the People’s Collective for Environmental Justice, said. “There is no acceptable level of exposure to deadly diesel pollution—so it has got to go, for the sake of our health and our lungs. Environmental justice communities in California are just trying to breathe clean, healthy air, and the shift to zero emissions trucks it a critical step to getting there.”
The ACF rule will “require large company and government fleets to begin purchasing zero emissions trucks beginning in 2024, and it will update the sales target so that 100 percent of all truck sales in California are zero emissions by 2036,” according to a press release. It is expected to create more constructions jobs in California with a demand for new charging infrastructure for zero emissions trucks.
The California Air Resources Board also passed the In-Use Locomotive Rule under the ACF, which will transition locomotives operating in California to zero emissions over time. This will include all freight, industrial, and passenger railroads.
“We applaud this ambitious move by the California Air Resources Board to mandate electrification of locomotives and trucks, setting a new bar in the state’s efforts to combat climate change and save lives,” Teresa Bui, climate policy director at Pacific Environment, said. “But, the state must now steer a new course towards electrifying ocean cargo ships by 2040, and bring an end to fossil-fueled shipping in our port cities. By extending its electrification efforts to the shipping industry, California can continue to lead the way both on land and at sea towards a cleaner and healthier future for all.”