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Sixteen states and various environmental groups sued the United States Postal Service and Postmaster Louis DeJoy last week, claiming that their ten-year plan for purchasing so-called next-generation delivery vehicles does more harm than good for the environment. The plaintiffs in three separate lawsuits claim USPS has violated environmental laws and argue that it needs to increase the number of electric vehicles it will order. 

USPS’s current ten-year plan indicates it will purchase around 165,000 new next-generation delivery vehicles to replace the current fleet built between 1987 and 1994. USPS initially said 10 percent of its order would be electric and later upped this to 20 percent, which means over 100,000 of the new fleet’s vehicles would be gas-powered. 

States that joined the lawsuits reportedly include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

Rob Bonta, California’s Attorney General, stated that if the current plan goes through, “we’ll be stuck with more than 100,000 new gas-guzzling vehicles on neighborhood streets, serving homes across our state and across the country, for the next 30 years.”

Letitia James, New York’s Attorney General, accused USPS of using “fatally flawed decision-making” and said its overall plan is “fiscally and environmentally irresponsible.” 

USPS has been under scrutiny regarding its plan for months but remains adamant that it has not violated any environmental laws and will purchase more electric vehicles if it receives enough funding.

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