States Sue To Block California's Advanced Clean Fleets Rule

States Sue To Block California's Advanced Clean Fleets Rule

Several states, similar to those that sued against California's Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) rule last year, are now challenging the state's Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF) rule. They're aiming to block the ACF until it receives approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

One key difference in the lawsuits is who's being targeted. This new lawsuit, filed in a California federal court, targets the head of the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The ACT lawsuit, filed last June, targeted the EPA, which had already granted California a waiver for its Clean Trucks rule.

ACT focuses on truck manufacturers, while ACF focuses on the companies that purchase and operate these trucks. Together, these rules aim to have all California fleets consist solely of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by the mid-2040s.

ACF enforcement on hold

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) initially disagreed with the need for a federal waiver for the ACF, a regulation aimed at reducing emissions from trucks. However, after a lawsuit filed by the California Trucking Association (CTA), CARB requested the waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

This legal back-and-forth led to a temporary truce. CARB agreed to put the ACF on hold, specifically the ban on adding new gas-powered trucks to the state's drayage registry. In exchange, the CTA wouldn't try to fast-track a court order blocking the entire regulation. While the lawsuit progresses, the ACF enforcement remains suspended.

The latest suit was filed by Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming. The Nebraska Trucking Association also is a plaintiff.

Most of those states are party to the suit against the EPA over the ACT waiver. A total of 19 states are plaintiffs in that suit.

The lawsuit against California's Clean Truck Rule (ACF) highlights several potential negative consequences for the states involved, many of which have direct access to California via Interstate 80. Here's a breakdown of their concerns:

  • Road Damage: The lawsuit claims the heavier weight of battery-powered trucks compared to traditional ones will damage their roads, requiring more permits and repairs.
  • Electricity Strain: The increased demand for electricity to power these trucks might strain their power grids.
  • Lost Opportunity: Nebraska specifically fears ACF could hurt its corn industry by discouraging the use of ethanol-powered trucks.
  • Slower Transportation: The lawsuit argues that recharging electric trucks takes longer than refueling gas-powered vehicles, potentially slowing down the trucking industry.
  • Compliance Costs: The Nebraska Trucking Association worries that complying with ACF to access the California market will be too expensive for its members.