Governor Lamont Applauds Final Passage of Climate Legislation That Includes New Emissions Standards for Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont is applauding the Connecticut House of Representatives for giving final approval today to legislation (Senate Bill 4) that includes his proposal to adopt California’s emissions standards for medium and heavy-duty vehicles, which will contribute to improved air quality and health outcomes for Connecticut residents.
Several of Connecticut’s neighboring states have already adopted similar emissions standards, including Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. These standards will ensure that manufacturers are producing cleaner vehicles and offering them for sale in Connecticut, giving prospective consumers more options while reducing a major source of in-state air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
The legislation also makes various statutory changes under the Connecticut Clean Air Act, and establishes several new programs and initiatives concerning electric vehicle use and improving air quality by reducing transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.
“The choice is clear, adopting the California framework and the other great initiatives in this bill will be another important step toward cleaner air and better health outcomes for all residents, particularly those who live in our cities and along our transportation corridors, and also gets us headed back in the right direction on our greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals,” Governor Lamont said. “I commend the Senate chairs of the Environment Committee and Transportation Committee, Senator Cohen and Senator Haskell, respectively, for their efforts shepherding this bill, as well as their counterparts in the House, Representative Gresko and Representative Lemar. I look forward to signing this important bill.”
“Today’s vote was a win for the residents of Connecticut – all of us,” Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “This legislation will mean cleaner air, better health outcomes, and reductions in our greenhouse gas emissions; providing residents and businesses with more clean options for vehicles; making it easier for residents to purchase and charge an electric vehicle, particularly those in environmental justice communities who bear the worst air pollution burdens; and so much more. This has been one of the most important legislative sessions for clean air and climate action in Connecticut history – Senate Bill 4 will ensure Connecticut residents and businesses can access clean, affordable electric bikes, passenger vehicles, trucks, school buses, and transit buses, and the passage of Senate Bill 10 and Senate Bill 176 ensures those vehicles will be powered by clean and reliable electricity. I applaud all of our legislative partners and advocates for their efforts to champion this impactful legislation.”
The transportation sector is responsible for 67% of the emissions of nitrogen oxides, a key component of smog. Medium and heavy-duty vehicles – which include trucks, buses, and smaller delivery vehicles – account for as much as 53% of nitrogen oxide emissions, despite being only 6% of the on-road vehicle fleet. The transportation sector is also the largest source of statewide greenhouse gas emissions at 37%, and as the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s most recent Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory found, emissions from that sector are increasing, when they must decline by roughly one-third in this decade if the state is to meet its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for 2030. Medium and heavy-duty vehicles are responsible for 25% of the greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.