Hawaii News

Hawaiʻi Attorney General joins coalition to defend EPA’s greenhouse gas emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles

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Attorney General Anne Lopez today joined a coalition of 23 attorneys general and four cities in filing a motion to intervene in the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to help defend the US Environmental Protection Agency’s final rule for federal greenhouse gas emission standards concerning heavy-duty vehicles. These vehicles include freight trucks, delivery trucks, buses, shuttles, and vocational vehicles such as street sweepers and refuse haulers. 

The EPA’s final rule will reduce 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions and result in $10 billion annual climate benefits, $300 million in annual non-greenhouse gas public health benefits, and $3.5 billion in annual operational savings for the trucking industry over the lifetime of these vehicles, according to rule backers. Currently, the EPA’s final rule is being challenged by 25 other states, which seek to stop emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles from taking effect.

“Living on an island chain makes the people of Hawaiʻi especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of climate change,” said Deputy Attorney General Lyle T. Leonard, who is lead attorney for Hawaiʻi in this matter. “These effects include high temperatures, extreme weather events, and sea level rise. These new heavy-duty vehicle standards are part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘Clean Trucks Plan,’ which will expand the use of clean vehicle technologies such as advanced internal combustion engine technologies, hybrid technologies, battery-electric vehicles, and fuel-cell electric vehicles. Today we join other concerned states in support of these new federal standards affirming our state’s commitment to fighting climate change by transitioning away from fossil fuels.”

Transportation is the leading source of GHG emissions in the country, and heavy-duty vehicles contribute 25% of emissions within the sector, making them the second-largest contributor of transportation emissions. At the national level, heavy-duty vehicles are a significant source of non-GHG pollution that detrimentally affects air quality and imposes serious health effects including premature death and asthma. The impacts of both climate change and poor air quality disproportionately harm environmental justice communities located near major truck freight routes.


Attorney General Lopez is joined by the attorneys general of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia, along with the city and county of Denver, and the cities of Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York in filing the motion.


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