The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco CA granted a petition Jan 16, 2003, that would require the Department of Transportation to prepare a full environmental impact statement and Clean Air Act conformity determination before Mexico-domiciled trucks are given full access to United States highways.
This action follows a lawsuit filed in May 2002 by a coalition that includes Public Citizen, the Teamsters, and the California Trucking Association, according to court information.
Petitioners in the lawsuit argued that the entrance of Mexican trucks to the United States would be harmful to humans and the environment. Data presented to the court said:
At least 30,000 Mexico-domiciled diesel trucks could enter the United States in the next year alone, including many older, pre-1994 trucks that are the most flagrant polluters.
A study shows, by the year 2010, trucks from Mexico will emit twice as much particulate matter and nitrogen oxides as US trucks.
No system is in place to inspect systematically the emissions of trucks coming over the border from Mexico.
Trucks from Mexico may not be covered by a 1998 settlement between the government and trucking manufacturers that requires US trucks to remove “defeat devices” that enabled them to test clean at inspection sites but run dirty on the open road.