Attorney General Bonta Testifies at EPA Hearing on California’s Waivers for its Heavy-Duty Truck Regulations

Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta testified today before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on California’s waivers for its heavy-duty truck regulations.

Attorney General Bonta's testimony as delivered:

Good morning. I am Rob Bonta, Attorney General of the State of California.

I am grateful for this opportunity to testify today to urge the EPA to grant waivers for California’s Heavy-Duty Truck Regulations.

This hearing is about improving our air quality and addressing climate change, yes, but it is also about something far more important.

I don’t believe I am overstating it, I don’t believe it's hyperbole when I say that the outcome of this hearing will determine whether people live or die.

That’s what these waivers are about: life and death. Over 12 million Californians breathe dirty, toxic air every day. And as a result, every year, thousands of them will die prematurely. Climate change is exacerbating this problem and causing other suffering as well.

So, when we talk about reducing Oxides of Nitrogen – or NOx, Particulate Matter, and greenhouse gases, I want to remind you that what we are talking about is the health of someone’s child, mother, father, sister, brother, abuela or abuelo.

By granting these waivers, you are granting them their lives.  

Indeed, immediately reducing smog-forming NOx, dangerous particulate matter, and climate-change causing greenhouse gases is not an option for us, it is an immediate need and many technology drivers and manufacturers recognize this.

Because they, like you, know that our state is already suffering dramatic impacts from air pollution and climate change, affecting every region in our state, threatening our economy and our residents, devastating our communities, and clogging our air with toxic smoke.  

These manufacturers also know that this technology is there, it's feasible, and it’s critical to drive the nation forward. 

California is committed to combating the climate crisis and improving the air our residents breathe. But in this context of motor vehicle emissions, we rely on the EPA granting these preemption waivers as Congress required.

Communities that are suffering from chronic air pollution and that live in neighborhoods near railyards, warehouses, airports, and roadways are facing the brunt of impacts caused by truck-related emissions.

Increased asthma. Coughs and wheezing. Trips to the ER. We see these impacts in California, where heavy-duty trucks emit nearly one-third of all NOx emissions, and we see them across the nation. 

My office has been at the forefront of addressing the disproportionate impacts caused by air pollution, including NOx, and I stand here today to implore you to allow California to drive the development and deployment of technologies crucial to reducing these impacts.

To be clear, the waivers we are urging you to adopt will enable the California Air Resources Board to implement rigorous but feasible standards. California's Advanced Clean Trucks standards and the Omnibus NOx standards have already been adopted by other states, and as you're already seeing, have the support of so many of the Americans you are hearing from during these important hearings. 

Tepid and slow action is just not acceptable. Californians are dying because of dirty air. We need these waivers granted to address the climate crisis, save lives, and protect communities living at the intersection of poverty and pollution.

I urge the EPA to grant these waivers immediately, and I thank you for the privilege of your time.

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