States and environmental groups sue Postal Service over gas-powered trucks

USPS plans on purchasing up to 165,000 new delivery vehicles over the next ten years.

Published: April 28, 2022 7:47pm

Updated: April 28, 2022 8:46pm

Sixteen states and various environmental groups on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for deciding to replace most of its delivery fleet with vehicles powered by fossil fuels.

The plaintiffs argue in the 32-page complaint that the Postal Service failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act by not taking a "hard look" at the effects of its vehicle acquisitions program.

USPS plans on purchasing up to 165,000 new delivery vehicles over the next ten years, and 10% of the new vehicles will be electric.

The plaintiffs include the states of California, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia and the City of New York.

The Sierra Club, Earthjustice and the Center for Biological Diversity are also part of the lawsuit, which specifically names Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

"Once this purchase goes through, we'll be stuck with more than 100,000 new gas-guzzling vehicles on neighborhood streets, serving homes across our state and across the country, for the next 30 years," California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a press release. "There won't be a reset button. We're going to court to make sure the Postal Service complies with the law and considers more environmentally friendly alternatives before it makes this decision."

"DeJoy's environmental process was so rickety and riddled with error that it failed to meet the basic standards of the National Environmental Policy Act," Earthjustice attorney Adrian Martinez said in a separate press release.

The Sierra Club noted that the new vehicles could receive a mileage as low as 8.6 mpg, "a worse fuel economy than a gas-powered Ford F-150 and worse mileage than the 1988 Grumman postal truck model when new."

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