After Decades of Organizing, Moving Forward Network Members Support the White House and the Joint Office in an Effort to Address Public Health and Environmental Impacts Caused by the Freight Transportation System

Our freight transportation system relies on sea- and inland- or dry-ports, intermodal facilities, railyards, warehouse complexes, roads, rails, and waterways that involve medium- and heavy-duty trucks, marine vessels, rail and locomotives, cargo-handling equipment, warehouses, and aviation. The majority of the impacts are felt first and hardest by frontline workers and frontline and fenceline communities, which are majority Black, Indigenous, people of color, Asian, and from working-class and low-income communities, resulting in millions of Americans living and working in “diesel death zones.” Today, the Biden administration and Joint Office have taken a significant step in confronting this injustice with the release of the fact sheet, Biden-⁠Harris Administration Sets First-Ever National Goal of Zero-Emissions Freight Sector, Announces Nearly $1.5 Billion to Support Transition to Zero-Emission Heavy-duty Vehicles.

This announcement comes after the Moving Forward Network (MFN) sent a letter with 23 endorsing frontline, scientific, and advocacy organizations to the White House in January 2024, urging the Biden Administration to commit to 100% zero-emissions across the freight transportation system and establish a frontline and fenceline-led stakeholder process for realizing that commitment. We take this moment to support the current announcement and strengthen our resolve and commitment to collaboration to ensure this commitment to 100% zero emissions across the freight transportation system. This White House announcement establishes a whole-government approach to addressing the pollution caused by the freight transportation system, is grounded in a commitment to zero emissions, acknowledges the overburdened “hot spot” communities, and names the direct and indirect sectors of the freight transportation system.

Frontline and fenceline communities suffer as a direct result of environmental racism caused by historical, ongoing, and growing hazard siting of polluting facilities and residential redlining. This is often coupled with thousands of daily truck trips traversing their neighborhoods, trains moving cargo and idling by local parks, schools, and residences, ships docked spewing some of the dirtiest emissions into the air and into their lungs, and thousands of indirect sources, like warehouses, that are hubs for freight traffic and freight impacts. 

This is a critical step in the right direction for frontline communities who have been dealing with negative externalities of freight. Frontline organizations like ours and the rest of MFN have been advocating that our local, state, and national leaders to not only acknowledge these issues, but to be more proactive on addressing air pollution impacts caused by the movement of goods. Communities such as Little Village, like so many others, have been dealing with the weight of the impacts from the whole transportation system for decades, including marine vessels, rail, trucks, airplanes, and warehouses. The time for zero emission solutions is now, we can’t afford to wait any longer. This system is killing our communities.


Transportation Justice Program Manager, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization

“For far too long, the ongoing and urgent public health and environmental crisis caused by the freight transportation system has impacted frontline and fenceline communities across the country. Moving Forward Network leaders have spent decades fighting for justice to address this systemic threat. We celebrate their leadership, which led to today’s announcement from the White House and Joint Offices calling for a whole-government approach to move critical zero-emission solutions across the freight transportation system. For MFN we remain committed to achieving the goal of 100% zero emissions and working collaboratively to support the next steps

Molly Greenberg

Senior Campaign Manager, The Moving Forward Network

Interested in learning more?

Read our letter to the White House and visit our Zero Emissions in Freight page to learn more about our campaign.