Groups sue to prevent Mexican truck entry

| 5/3/2002

A coalition of environmental, labor and industry groups sought an injunction May 2 in a San Francisco federal court to stop Mexican trucks from crossing U.S. borders.

The lawsuit claims Mexican trucks, which the Bush administration said could legally cross U.S. borders beginning May 3, will dramatically increase U.S. air pollution.

Specifically, the plaintiffs are challenging the Bush administration's "finding of no significant impact" concerning the trucks and are seeking a mandatory environmental impact statement. The statement would address public health concerns about Mexican trucks before they are allowed throughout the country.

Among the claims in the suit, which was led by Public Citizen, the Environmental Law Foundation, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and others:

At least 30,000 Mexico-domiciled diesel trucks are set to enter the U.S. in 2002, including many older, pre-1994 trucks that are the most egregious polluters.

Within ten years, diesel emissions from U.S. trucks will be dramatically reduced due to new engine and fuel standards; no legislation is pending in Mexico to require Mexico-domiciled trucks to meet the same or even similar standards.

Trucks from Mexico may not be covered by a settlement that requires U.S. trucks to remove "defeat devices" that enabled them to test clean at inspection sites but run dirty on the open road.