Colorado’s Win for Clear Vans


In April, Colorado voted to undertake two historic requirements to advertise clear vehicles within the state: the Superior Clear Vans rule and the Low-NOx rule, which is able to cut back dangerous air air pollution from vehicles and buses. Collectively, these protecting requirements will slash transportation emissions, present thousands and thousands of {dollars} in financial advantages in Colorado, and safeguard susceptible communities from hazardous air air pollution, particularly communities that reside close to freight corridors.

The freight corridors and industrial areas of North-East metro Denver are a number of the most polluted locations within the nation. Diesel truck visitors is a big contributor to this air air pollution, emitting toxic NOx and particulate matter which ends up in severe well being impacts, together with bronchial asthma and lung most cancers. Low-income communities of coloration who reside, work, and go to high school in these areas are disproportionately burdened with the well being impacts of this air pollution.

With the help of native environmental justice organizations together with Inexperienced Latinos, NAACP, Mi Familia Vota, and Womxn from the Mountain, group members took a stand in opposition to air pollution and testified earlier than the Air High quality Management Fee in help of those new clear truck requirements.

“I feel that every one of us as a group should have clear air,” mentioned one Aurora resident in a letter to the Fee.

After 1000’s of supportive letters, testimonies, and tales from group members, environmental justice advocates, and technical consultants, the Air High quality Management Fee voted unanimously to undertake the requirements. Colorado is the eighth state to undertake clear truck protections.

A Win for Environmental Justice

These requirements are a momentous win for cleansing up Colorado’s air and advancing environmental justice. The foundations will cut back smog-forming air pollution from Colorado’s vehicles by as much as 90% and kickstart the marketplace for zero-emission truck gross sales, changing polluting vehicles over time. Colorado is prepared for clear vehicles, with state and federal funding flowing to help the transition.

The impacts of this vote are huge, particularly for communities situated alongside main freight corridors, who’re largely low-income, Indigenous, and communities of coloration. These communities breathe nearly all of the toxic, life-threatening air air pollution from fossil fuel-powered vehicles. “I usually stroll round highways, and I really feel that it provides me complications and it turns into more durable to breathe. We’d like wholesome communities,” mentioned a Denver group member.

Native environmental justice coalitions labored to raise the voices of these in communities most impacted by tailpipe air pollution. The coalition put collectively a sequence of city halls to foster conversations about air high quality, hear about their lived experiences, and relay these tales again to the regulatory fee within the type of written feedback.

These highly effective testimonials made it clear that group members, who’re primarily disproportionately impacted individuals of coloration, are overburdened by dangerous air high quality brought on by tailpipe emissions. After studying these feedback, the Fee modified the foundations to higher swimsuit Colorado’s wants and promote fairness. These rules will impression over 700,000 vehicles, with far-reaching advantages.

Together with air high quality advantages, the foundations will even cut back greenhouse fuel emissions, protecting Colorado on monitor to satisfy its local weather targets. Transportation is the biggest supply of emissions in Colorado, and these guidelines present actual management to take local weather motion. Going through historic drought, wildfire danger, and climate extremes, Coloradan communities wanted safeguards just like the clear truck guidelines to guard their lifestyle for generations to return.

The foundations will even safe billions of {dollars} in internet financial advantages, averted public well being prices to Colorado, and generate 1000’s of jobs within the clear automobile and battery industries.

Different States Can Lead with Clear Automobiles

It’s time for different Western states to hitch Colorado and undertake these essential rules. As one Coloradan put it: “It’s a human proper, not (a) privilege, to have entry to scrub air.” That is true for each state, and it’s time for different states to comply with swimsuit.

New Mexico, for instance, may take related steps to guard their residents and develop a zero-emission automobile market of their state by adopting the clear truck guidelines, together with the Superior Clear Vehicles II customary for light-duty autos. Taking these actions would construct upon New Mexico’s said local weather objectives and mark a decisive step within the state’s journey on local weather.

Different Western states should have the identical degree of ambition to fight local weather change, promote environmental justice, and clear up our air from automobile air pollution.

Courtesy of NRDC.

By Claire Lang-Ree, co-authored with Jacob Belgrad of Mi Familia Vota.


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