The city of New Orleans, flush with federal pandemic aid dollars, is in the midst of a spending spree to replace its aging vehicle fleet.
So far this year, the city has spent $50 million in federal pandemic relief aid to buy 791 vehicles. But it appears that almost all of those purchases violate a city law that mandates low emissions for city-owned vehicles.
The “clean fleet” ordinance, which the City Council approved last year, requires the city to stop buying gas-powered vehicles altogether in 2025. But the law also stipulates that starting in 2023, newly purchased city vehicles have to at least follow the same low-emissions standards required for the federal government as part of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.