How CARB’s ACF rule can transform California

September 17, 2021 /

On August 26, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released the first draft of their Advance Clean Fleet (ACF) rule.

The ACF is a first-in-the-world rule that aims to push forward a requirement that every new truck sold in California be zero-emission by 2040. The rule is set to directly address the disproportionate health risk that communities, especially low-income Black and Brown, in California experience due to their proximity to heavy truck traffic such as distribution centers, ports, and rail yards.

Over 10,000 Californians and multiple industries have urged CARB to push a more aggressive policy to protect the most vulnerable communities, stimulate the economy, and achieve cleaner air in California.

“Diesel pollution from California’s transportation system and the worsening climate crisis hits communities of color and low-income communities hardest,” stated Nicole Wong, Campaign Manager for Dream Corps Green For All. “Frontline communities pay the price in poorer health, reduced life expectancy, and increased expenses. A strong Advanced Clean Fleets rule must advance 100% zero-emission truck sales by 2035 to address these unacceptable health disparities and generate economic opportunities. California can lead the way by committing to a robust standard and helping small fleets and workers equitably access the benefits of zero-emission trucks.”

The goal of the ACF rule is to accelerate the number of medium and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicle purchases to achieve a full transition to zero-emission vehicles in California. Additionally, this rule would help California achieve Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-79-20, a law that will require 100% of all new in-state sales of cars and light trucks to be zero-emissions vehicles.

The rule would affect public agencies, federal governments, owner-operators and other fleets performing drayage operations, and high-priority fleets that own, operate or direct vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 8,500 lbs. High priority fleets include any entity with $50 million or more in gross annual revenue, or any broker or other fleet owner that in combination owns, operates, or dispatches vehicles under common ownership and control that totals 50 or more vehicles.

Zero-emission trucks and fleets becoming a require helps to improve the public health of many Californians. As air pollution and fossil fuel pollution continues to disproportionately affect low-income communities and communities of color, the deployment of zero-emission fleets must prioritize supplying relief to those suffering the most.

“Families all across California are suffering from the impacts of environmental racism that come in the form of living in some of the most polluted communities in the Country,” Andrea Vidaurre, Policy Analyst for People’s Collective for Environmental Justice (PC4EJ), stated for a press release. “CARB has a responsibility to those families to ensure that the Advanced Clean Fleet rule is adopted and reflects the need across the State.”

This rule is separate from the Advanced Clean Trucks rule that will require manufacturers to sell set percentages of zero emission vehicles in the state but had no requirements for buyers.

A public hearing on the draft regulation was scheduled for September 9. Additionally, CARB is requesting comments by September 27 on the draft regulation and on an accompanying document describing the agency’s cost assumptions.