California is on a roll to have nearly every part of its residents’ lives be pollution-free. With bans on everything from gas vehicles, to gas-powered yard equipment, the next step is cleaning up the backbone of our supply chain: semitrucks. The LA Times reports state officials are proposing a ban on big rig diesels to further curb California’s emissions.
If enacted, it would be years before anything takes effect. The ban, being pushed by the California Air Resources Board, would require zero-emission medium and heavy-duty trucks in state and local fleets by 2027, and those same vehicles that enter rail and port yards be zero emission by 2035. It’s all being done because experts say big rigs are some of the biggest polluters around.
“Pound for pound, heavy-duty trucks are putting out far more pollution than anything else on the road. And that’s really directly contributing to the fact that California has the worst air pollution in the country.” Those are the words of Will Barrett, national senior director for clean air advocacy with the American Lung Association. Semitrucks clog the streets and freeways of California. With two of the busiest ports in the country, along with a region of warehouses that has some of the worst pollution in the country, this may all be needed. The recent discovery and addressing of racist highway redlining has only accelerated plans for clean air vehicles.
Not everyone is on board with the ban, however. Vice President of the California Trucking Association Chris Shimoda says there’s no infrastructure to support electric medium and heavy-duty trucks. He doubts the infrastructure would be built up enough to support the hundreds of thousands of trucks by the proposed deadline.
The air resources board has until October 27 to vote on the measure.