Postal service

Sixteen States Sue US Postal Service Over Gasoline Truck Purchase | US Postal Service

California and 15 other states that want the U.S. Postal Service to buy more electric delivery vehicles are suing to halt purchases of thousands of gas-powered trucks as the agency upgrades its mail delivery fleet.

Three separate lawsuits, filed by 16 states and environmental groups Thursday in New York and California, ask judges to order a more thorough environmental review before the Postal Service moves forward with the delivery vehicle program of new generation.

The plaintiffs argue that the purchase of fossil fuel delivery vehicles will cause environmental damage for decades.

“Louis DeJoy’s gas-guzzling fleet guarantees decades of pollution with every postcard and every package,” said Scott Hochberg, attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, referring to the postmaster general.

A lawsuit has been filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, Earthjustice, CleanAirNow KC and Sierra Club in San Francisco. Attorneys general from 16 states and the District of Columbia filed another complaint at the same location.

Another was filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council and United Auto Workers in New York.

All three target the environmental review that underpins the Postal Service’s planned purchase of up to 165,000 next-generation delivery vehicles over the next decade.

The review process “was so rickety and riddled with errors that it failed to meet basic standards of the National Environmental Policy Act,” said Adrian Martinez, senior counsel for Earthjustice’s Right to Zero campaign. .

“The crux of this case is that the Postal Service performed its [environmental] analysis too late, and even the analysis she prepared was incomplete, misleading and biased against cleaner vehicles,” Martinez wrote in her complaint. saw again by the Washington Post.

He continued, “Amazingly, the Postal Service signed a contract and paid millions of dollars for these vehicles first, before beginning its environmental analysis to justify its action, in clear violation of [the National Environmental Policy Act].”

“The Postal Service’s inappropriate action will not only needlessly pollute all American communities for decades, but it will also cost taxpayers millions more dollars and leave the agency vulnerable to fluctuating fuel prices.”

California Attorney General Rob Bonta said it was essential to stop the process before it was too late.

“Once this purchase is complete, we will be stuck with more than 100,000 new gas-guzzling vehicles on neighborhood streets, serving homes across our state and nation, for the next 30 years. There will be no reset button,” he said.

The Postal Service has defended its actions, with spokesperson Kim Frum saying in an email: “The Postal Service has conducted a rigorous and thorough review and has fully complied with all of our obligations under (the national environmental policy).

The Postal Service contract calls for 10% of new vehicles to be electric, but the Postal Service says more electric vehicles can be purchased based on financial outlook and strategic considerations.

In a interview with the Washington Post earlier this year, DeJoy said, “The nation’s fleet electrification policy is a mission I will support. But I would be remiss to spend all my money on it.

“I have many other needs. I have 500 plants to take care of. I have a 30 year old computer… I have to spend a few billion dollars, at least, to make my factories relevant… I made a decision on this batch. When it’s ready for the next batch, I’ll review it,” he added.

The Postal Service fleet includes 190,000 local delivery vehicles. More than 141,000 of them are older models that lack safety features such as airbags, anti-lock brakes and backup cameras. The Postal Service is replacing the ubiquitous delivery trucks that entered service between 1987 and 1994.

The percentage of battery electric vehicles was doubled to 20% in the initial $2.98 billion order for 50,000 vehicles. New gasoline vehicles would get 14.7 miles per gallon (23.7 kilometers per gallon) without air conditioning, compared to 8.4 mpg (13.5 kpg) for older vehicles, the Postal Service said.

The states that sued include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

California’s Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the District of Columbia and New York City have also joined this lawsuit.