Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, June 29, 2023


Scott Hochberg, (510) 844-7119,

Legal Intervention Defends EPA Approval of California Clean Truck Rule

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity joined seven other groups today to intervene in lawsuits regarding clean truck standards in California. The intervention seeks to defend California’s ability under the Clean Air Act to set truck emissions standards stronger than those of the federal government. The lawsuits were brought against the Biden administration by a variety of trucking and petroleum industry groups, along with several states.

“California and other states have well-established rights to set their own rigorous truck standards, and dangerous efforts to overturn them will fail,” said Scott Hochberg, a transportation attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute. “Maintaining California’s lifesaving leadership in setting strong pollution standards is crucial for protecting public health and the climate and supporting a rapid, just transition to zero-emission trucks.”

The legal waiver granted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gives California the green light to require manufacturers to increase sales of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles over the next decade. It also enables other states to adopt the stronger California standards, protecting their residents from harmful heavy-duty truck pollution. So far seven other states have adopted California’s advanced clean truck sales requirements.

Trucks, buses and other heavy-duty vehicles emit deadly diesel pollution, which degrades air quality and contributes to asthma, lung disease and premature death. The move to zero-emission vehicles will benefit millions of Americans, mostly in disadvantaged communities, who live in “diesel death zones” near heavy truck-traffic areas, such as ports, freeways and warehouses.

Diesel pollution also worsens the climate crisis. The world’s leading scientists have warned that global greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2025, be slashed in half in the next decade and fall to zero by mid-century to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and avoid the most catastrophic damages. Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles account for about 25% of total carbon emissions from U.S. transportation.

“We can’t cut off key avenues to climate progress right when we’re barreling toward catastrophe,” said Hochberg. “We’ll fight to protect California’s historic right to lead on strong truck standards because communities and our planet depend on it.”

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Truck on I-10 photo by Russ McSpadden/Center for Biological Diversity Image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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