OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today co-led a multistate coalition in a comment letter supporting the U.S. Postal Service’s notice of intent to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and purported commitment to purchasing a greater percentage of electric vehicles. The notice follows a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Bonta and others alleging that the Postal Service relied on a flawed environmental analysis to justify its purchase of up to 90% gas-powered vehicles in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act. In today's letter, the attorneys general call on the Postal Service to expand the scope of the Supplemental EIS to address these deficiencies and to halt any further activity relating to the purchase of these vehicles until this additional review is completed.
“The Postal Service failed the communities it serves when it finalized a plan that doubles down on outdated, gas-guzzling technologies, instead of considering cleaner, more environmentally friendly alternatives,” said Attorney General Bonta. “While the Postal Service now appears to recognize its mistake, the scope of its supplemental review falls far short of what is needed. The Postal Service must address the deficiencies in its original environmental review for the health of our communities and as required by the law. The Postal Service has a historic opportunity to invest in the future of our planet. I urge it to course correct before it's too late.”
Postal Service vehicles are on the road six days a week in every community in the United States. While these vehicles play a critical role in delivering the nation’s mail, they also emit significant amounts of greenhouse gases and other hazardous air pollutants. Many Postal Service facilities are located within environmental justice communities that are already overburdened by pollution. As most of the Postal Service's vehicles near the end of their useful lives, the Postal Service has the opportunity to convert its fleet to zero-emission, electric vehicles, a change that would reduce pollution in these overburdened communities and help tackle the climate crisis. Instead, the Postal Service relied on a faulty environmental analysis to justify replacing up to 165,000 of its delivery vehicles with ninety percent fossil-fuel powered vehicles over the next ten years.
In today’s letter, the attorneys general express their support for the Postal Service’s decision to prepare a Supplemental EIS for the Next Generation Delivery Vehicles Acquisitions program. However, the attorneys general make clear that the scope of the supplemental review should be significantly expanded to address deficiencies in the Final EIS and Record of Decision. In particular, the Postal Service must redo its analysis with more accurate data on electric vehicle costs, performance, and fuel prices, and with greater attention to environmental justice and addressing the climate crisis. Further, no work should occur under the Postal Service’s existing contract with Oshkosh Defense until it completes this Supplemental EIS.
Attorney General Bonta, along with New York Attorney General Letitia James, is joined by the attorneys general 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, in filing the letter.
A copy of the letter is available here.