COURT ORDERS AIR QUALITY RISK STUDY FOR MEXICAN TRUCKS ON U.S. ROADS
The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Department of Transportation violated federal environmental laws by taking steps to allow trucks from Mexico full access to U.S. roads without adequately assessing how such vehicles would affect air quality.
“Although we agree with the importance of U.S. compliance with its treaty obligations with its southern neighbor, Mexico, such compliance cannot come at the cost of violating U.S. law,” the appeals court said.
“We hold that the Department of Transportation acted arbitrarily and capriciously in failing to prepare a full environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Protection Act, as well as a conformity determination under the Clean Air Act,” the appellate panel said.
The court, which ordered the DOT to prepare an impact statement and conformity determination, issued its ruling in response to a lawsuit filed in May by a coalition of environmental, consumer and labor groups.
The coalition’s petition alleged that trucks from Mexico emit twice as much particulate