Science & Technology

USPS sued by states and environmental groups over purchase of 8.6 mpg trucks

A Postal Service delivery vehicle.
Enlarge / The USPS’s new mail truck.

United States Postal Service

The US Postal Service is going through lawsuits from 16 states and several other environmental teams difficult its resolution to purchase tens of hundreds of gasoline-powered supply autos as a substitute of electrical autos.

As beforehand reported, the Environmental Safety Company says the gas-powered vehicles being ordered by the USPS “are anticipated to attain solely 8.6 miles per gallon (mpg), barely enhancing over the decades-old long-life autos that obtain 8.2 mpg.” The USPS countered that the autos get 14.7 mpg when air con is not getting used and that the vehicles’ dimension will make it doable to ship the identical quantity of mail in fewer journeys.

The USPS plan is to purchase 50,000 to 165,000 autos over 10 years. Of these, at the very least 10 % are slated to be battery-electric autos (BEV). Amid controversy, the USPS final month mentioned its preliminary order of fifty,000 vehicles for $2.98 billion would come with over 10,000 BEVs for “particular supply routes that current the most effective preliminary utility for electrical autos.”

A lawsuit filed by California and 15 different states on Thursday mentioned the USPS failed “to comply with a course of mandated by the Nationwide Environmental Coverage Act (NEPA),” persevering with:

As an alternative, the Postal Service first selected a producer with minimal expertise in producing electrical autos, signed a contract, and made a considerable down fee for brand new autos. Solely then did the Postal Service publish a cursory environmental assessment to justify the choice to switch 90 % of its supply fleet with fossil-fuel-powered, inner combustion engine autos, regardless of different accessible, environmentally preferable alternate options. In doing so, the Postal Service did not adjust to even probably the most fundamental necessities of NEPA.

States search injunction

The lawsuit seeks an injunction forcing the USPS to cease the automobile purchases “till it has complied with NEPA.” It was filed in opposition to the USPS and Postmaster Common Louis DeJoy, who was appointed by the USPS Board of Governors in 2020 beneath then-President Donald Trump.

All 16 states concerned within the lawsuit have Democratic attorneys common. They allege that the USPS “violated well-established authorized precedent prohibiting ‘an irreversible and irretrievable dedication of sources’ earlier than finishing the NEPA course of by signing contracts with a protection firm (Oshkosh Protection, LLC) to obtain autos six months earlier than even releasing its draft environmental assessment and a yr previous to issuing the Last Environmental Influence Assertion (‘Last EIS’) and Report of Choice.”

The states additionally declare the USPS failed to contemplate and consider affordable alternate options. “Particularly, the Postal Service didn’t correctly consider a number of environmental impacts of its motion, together with air high quality, environmental justice, and local weather harms, by merely assuming that any improve to its automobile fleet would have optimistic impacts on the setting,” the grievance mentioned.

States additionally alleged the USPS “failed to make sure the scientific integrity of its evaluation by counting on unfounded assumptions relating to the prices and efficiency of electrical autos, infrastructure, and gasoline costs, and refusing to establish the supply of the info relied upon within the Last EIS.”

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