California Passes Transportation Package with Protections for Dirty Trucks
SACRAMENTO, CA — The California Senate and Assembly tonight approved a package to fund road repairs, as well as investments in transit, safety, and bike-friendly and pedestrian improvements. Lobbyists for the trucking industry also managed to slip in a provision that would allow dirty diesel trucks to continue polluting California’s air for nearly two decades. The package provides close to $1 billion dollars a year for clean transit, safe walking and biking, but also puts at risk communities near high-traffic trucking corridors like ports and freeways.
Following is a statement from Amanda Eaken, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s transportation and climate program:
“It took a lot of hard work to get this package across the finish line, and the transit, walking and biking investments will benefit millions of Californians. But legislators shouldn’t be forced to choose between much-needed transit investments and clean air —especially in vulnerable communities. This package hands a windfall victory to dirty diesel and puts thousands of families at risk for asthma, cancers and other illnesses for decades to come. And this occurred because of a late-night, backroom deal where public health was traded for votes.
“Californians expect more. People don’t need to suffer – and dirty diesel shouldn’t get a free pass – just to get the investments we need to fix our roads and improve clean transportation options.”
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.