A bill being considered by the District of Columbia City Council would effectively ban new diesel vehicles from operating in the nation's capital starting in 2018.
The Sustainable D.C. Omnibus Act of 2013 would have "significantly harmful effects on the District's economy and on the quality of life of District residents," American Trucking Associations said in a Dec. 5 statement. ATA and several other trucking groups wrote a letter to the council to protest the bill.
The legislation, which will be the subject of a January 8 hearing, calls on D.C. officials to not register any motor vehicle to operate within the District not registered prior to Jan. 1, 2018 that "operates exclusively on the combustion of petroleum diesel fuel."
The letter said that the ban could apply to any new diesel vehicle registered in any state or province under the International Registration Plan, which would include any interstate truck or tractor and many buses that weigh more than 26,000 pounds.
"We're very concerned that this provision, which is unnecessary to achieve the goals of the overall bill, would have a number of adverse effects on the residents and businesses in our nation's capital," said Bob Pitcher, vice president of state laws for ATA. "If enacted as written, there will be serious disruptions to the supply chain for D.C. - which receives the vast majority of its goods via truck."
The bill also would allow the city to grant partial tax rebates for vehicles powered by natural gas, propane or electricity.