Letter: The End of Diesel Delays?

American Lung Association ● Earthjustice ● Environmental Advocates of New York ● Environmental Defense Fund ● Natural Resources Defense Council ● NYC Environmental Justice Alliance ● New York Lawyers for the Public Interest ● Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter ● WE ACT for Environmental Justice

March 22, 2018

Hon. John J. Flanagan
Temporary President New York State Senate
Capitol 330
Albany, New York 12247

Hon. Jeffrey Klein
Independent Democratic Conference Leader
New York State Senate
LOB 913
Albany, New York 12247

Dear Senate Majority Coalition Leaders Flanagan and Klein:

As advocates for clean air and healthy communities, we strongly support the full implementation of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act. We applaud you for joining with the Governor and the Assembly in advancing a budget proposal (R4168) that does not include any further delay in the application of this nearly twelve year-old law.

The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2006 (DERA) was supposed to be fully implemented in 2010, but in recent years your conferences have sought and secured legislation that has delayed compliance and allowed vehicles with antiquated emissions controls to continue to pollute our air and threaten the health of our communities. Under current law, full compliance with DERA by state entities and also those working under contracts with the state is expected by the end of this year.

DERA requires the state and its contractors to operate a cleaner fleet of diesel trucks by controlling exhaust emissions or replacing old trucks with more efficient vehicles. Diesel emissions are linked to a number of serious public health problems—including lung cancer, premature deaths, and asthma attacks—especially in environmental justice communities – costing New Yorkers over $12 billion annually in monetized health impacts.

New Yorkers, especially those living and working in communities already disproportionately burdened by pollution, cannot afford any further delays. Thank you for advancing a budget that will finally allow for DERA to be fully implemented in 2018. We look forward to working with you to ensure clean air for all New Yorkers.

Sincerely,

Peter Iwanowicz
Executive Director
Environmental Advocates of New York

Eddie Bautista
Executive Director
NYC Environmental Justice Alliance

Kristina Wieneke
Director, Public Policy in NY
American Lung Association
 

Rachel Spector
Director, Environmental Justice Program
New York Lawyers for the Public Interest

 

Rory Christian
New York Director, Clean Energy
Environmental Defense Fund

Peggy M. Shepard
Executive Director
WE ACT for Environmental Justice, Inc.

Jackson Morris
Director, Eastern Region
Climate & Clean Energy
Natural Resources Defense Council

Deborah Goldberg
Managing Attorney
Earthjustice Northeast Office

Roger Downs
Conservation Director
Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter

cc:
Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor Hon. Carl E. Heastie, Speaker