Wednesday, September 27, 2023

NYS Sues USPS for Buying New Mail Trucks

New York State Attorney General Letitia James is teaming up with California Attorney General Rob Bonta to sue the United States Postal Service for buying a new fleet of mail trucks. The Attorney Generals claim the USPS used a faulty environmental analysis to justify the purchase of new gas-powered vehicles.

According to James, the USPS purchased a new fleet of vehicles without first holding the mandatory environmental review, a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The review allegedly did not consider and evaluate fleets that included electric vehicles, instead opting to replace up to 165,000 of its delivery vehicles with 90% gas-powered vehicles. The lawsuit seeks a court order to block USPS from moving ahead with the purchase until it allegedly fully complies with NEPA.

“This decision will have lasting and devastating consequences for our environment, and the health and wellbeing of New Yorkers,” said James.

The USPS has one of the largest civilian vehicle fleets in the world, consisting of more than 212,000 vehicles. While these vehicles play a critical role in delivering the nation’s mail, James alleged that they also emit significant amounts of greenhouse gases and other hazardous air pollutants.

According to James, the USPS was obligated to assess the impacts of its Next Generation Delivery Vehicle Acquisitions program under NEPA. The USPS chose a manufacturer, signed a contract, and made a substantial down payment for new, almost entirely gas-powered vehicles before publishing a mandatory environmental review, she alleged.

Joining James and Bonta in filing the lawsuit are the attorney generals of Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the City of New York and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

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