Rep. Huffman, Oversight Committee, Ask Postal Service IG to Investigate Environmental Impacts of Vehicle Contract

March 14, 2022

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Jared Huffman and members of the House Oversight Committee Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney, Gerald E. Connolly, Stephen Lynch, and Brenda Lawrence sent a letter to the U.S. Postal Service Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb requesting that the IG initiate an investigation into the Postal Service’s compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when issuing the contract for Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV).

“We write to request that the Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) initiate an investigation into the Postal Service’s compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act particularly the filing of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle,” wrote the Members.  “The Environmental Protection Agency, the White House Council for Environmental Quality, and numerous environmental stakeholders have raised concerns that the Postal Service did not meet its NEPA obligations during its contracting process for the NGDV.  These significant concerns warrant an investigation by the OIG.”

The NGDV contract represents a substantial investment and could lead to the Postal Service’s acquisition of up to 165,000 vehicles over ten years. 

“The Oversight Committee strongly supports the purchase of electric vehicles for the Postal Service’s fleet, which would significantly cut emissions and position the Postal Service as an environmental leader,” the letter continued.  “Given the substantial public interest in this acquisition and the significant deficiencies in the EIS identified by EPA, it is critical that Congress understand whether the Postal Service properly met its statutory environmental obligations.”

Rep. Huffman has been a leader on electrifying the USPS Postal Fleet since his first term in Congress. He has advocated to include funding for USPS vehicle electrification in yearly appropriations bills since 2014Additionally, he has introduced legislation to provide the funding needed to transition to electric vehicles, such as the FLEET Act, first introduced in 2014, as well as the more recently introduced Postal Vehicle Modernization Act of 2021. This legislation, would require at least 75% of the new USPS fleet electric or zero emission and provides $6 billion to enable the Postal Service to reach that 75% electric vehicle target. Budgetary provisions from that bill were included in the Build Back Better Act that passed out of the House last fall. Following the announcement of the USPS’ NGDV contract with Oshkosh in 2021, Huffman joined Representative Marcy Kaptur in a House Resolution calling on the Biden administration to halt the contract until an investigation can be conducted. He also led a letter to the USPS Board of Governors requesting they halt the contract until the three vacancies on the Board of Governors are filled. This February, Rep. Huffman joined with Congressional colleagues in a bicameral letter calling on the USPS to change the procurement plan to dramatically increase the electrification of the mail delivery fleet.

Click here to read today’s letter.