Jul 25, 2018

15 States Sue EPA Over Trucking Regulations

The Trump-era EPA is attempting to overturn yet another regulation, and California and 14 other states are suing to keep it in place. It’s just the latest tussle in the trucking industry, which has been in flux for several years.

Anyone who deals in freight has heard the famous mantra that “Truck drivers keep America moving.” After all, it takes a massive army to keep those Amazon Prime packages coming at the right pace. There are 3.5 million truck drivers in our country, plus another 5.2 million people who work in other capacities in the trucking industry.

If you’re keeping track, that’s 8.7 million people who earn their paychecks through professional trucking. And it’s not enough. The American Trucking Associations reports that about 70% of goods consumed in the country are transported by a truck, and to keep up with increasing demand, the industry needs to hire 900,000 drivers.

Observers cite the aging driver population for much of the current driver shortage. But tight regulations are another culprit.

The EPA under President Trump’s leadership has been focused on overturning many regulations related to air pollution, water pollution, and drilling. So it came as no surprise when the EPA announced it was suspending a rule that kept trucks with older, high-polluting engines off the road.

While officials in the Obama administration had estimated that pollution from these dirtier trucks could result in 1,600 early deaths annually, former EPA Chief Scott Pruitt referred to the ban as an overreach that “threatened to put an entire industry of specialized truck manufacturers out of business.”

The lawsuit from California and its fellow states counters that the EPA’s actions are illegal and could lead to thousands of higher-polluting trucks hitting the road. In essence, if the trucks can’t meet modern emissions standards, they shouldn’t be allowed to leave the garage.

“As EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt’s job was to act as our country’s chief environmental prosecutor,” California attorney general, Xavier Becerra, said in a statement. “At every turn — even until the bitter end — he failed to carry out this important duty and instead put the profits of major polluters above the health of our families.”

It’s yet to be seen what will happen in this latest front in the trucking wars. It’s worth noting that the lawsuit filed by the states isn’t the only action opposing the EPA’s decision. There’s also a similar lawsuit in the D.C. appeals court filed by environmental groups.

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About the author

Grant Olsen
Grant Olsen is a writer specializing in small business loans, leadership skills, and growth strategies. He is a contributing writer for KSL 5 TV, where his articles have generated more than 6 million page views, and has been featured on FitSmallBusiness.com and ModernHealthcare.com. Grant is also the author of the book "Rhino Trouble." He has a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University.

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