• June 18th, 2024
  • Tuesday, 05:37:52 AM

Environmental Justice Coalition Fights for Less Pollution, Better Health

Photo: AdobeStock Groups strongly oppose further delay in adopting clean truck rules.


Asserting that the State of Colorado must enact new policies to fight environmental racism and clean our air, a new coalition has formed to move the state “toward eliminating environmental degradation and barriers harming disproportionately impacted communities…” and create conditions so that “Colorado’s children can breathe clean air regardless of race or socio-economic background for future generations to come.”


“This burden has been placed on us for far too long, and now – not 2023 – is the time for acting on clean trucks,”


The coalition, including Mi Familia Vota, GreenLatinos, Womxn From the Mountain, NAACP Denver, and the Colorado Working Families Party, will engage in various strategies and tactics in their communities to build grassroots support for the adoption by the Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) of new clean truck rules that would require an increasing percentage of trucks sold in the state – including delivery vans, long-haul trucks, and other vehicles – be zero emission starting in 2024, and that trucks that continue to use fossil fuels burn cleaner and pollute less.


The AQCC originally was slated to consider clean truck rules (Advanced Clean Trucks and Low NOx Heavy-Duty Omnibus) in the spring and summer of this year. However, the Polis Administration has now indicated that consideration could be delayed until 2023. Members of the coalition argue that aggressive action to clean the air has been put off too long and that any delay in adopting rules means more harmful pollution especially for Black and Brown families. “Our communities are always told we just have to wait for environmental justice, to wait for action that will improve the health of our families and children, to wait because the burden on others would be too great. This burden has been placed on us for far too long, and now – not 2023 – is the time for acting on clean trucks,” coalition members stated.


Colorado’s transportation sector is the largest single emitter of dangerous greenhouse gas pollutants that cause climate change. Truck traffic, especially along major highway corridors in the Denver area and statewide, also contributes to other air pollutants that increase ozone and particulate matter pollution and Nitrous Oxide (NOx). These dangerous pollutants lead to higher rates of premature death, asthma and other respiratory diseases and other health concerns.


The statement reads in part: “Currently, disproportionately impacted communities (DICs) of Indigenous, Immigrant, Black and Brown families and children suffer from higher rates of asthma, bronchitis, anemia, low birth rates, premature births, as well as other physical and mental health ailments due to the toxic pollution created along Colorado’s congested highways, especially I-70 and its surrounding corridors. Communities located near these transportation arteries, warehouses, and railyards experience the worst impacts from the heavy truck traffic that is exacerbated by idling, slow speeds, and frequent stops and little to no restoration and healthcare access.”


The full statement can be viewed here. 



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