States and others sue the postal service

By on Friday, April 29th, 2022 in Columbia Basin News Featured Stories

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Thursday a lawsuit against Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the U.S. Postal Service asserting that they violated federal environmental law when deciding in February to replace up to 165,000 vehicles with primarily gas-powered models rather than making a larger switch to electric vehicles.

Fifteen other states, including Oregon, in addition to the District of Columbia and New York City, are part of the suit. They are also joined by several environmental groups.

In February 2021, DeJoy chose Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense to build the replacement fleet of 148,000 vehicles over the next 10 years. USPS will spend billions of dollars to replace its aging vehicles. Oshkosh does not currently manufacture any electric vehicles.

When making its decision on the replacement fleet, Ferguson asserts that USPS either ignored or discounted the environmental impacts, including air quality in communities already burdened by pollution, environmental justice, and other climate harms, by simply assuming that any upgrade to its vehicle fleet would be positive. Ferguson alleged that such an arbitrary metric is not the standard for review under the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires federal agencies to take a hard look at environmental impacts of any decisions and not to commit resources to a course of action before completing an environmental review.