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Here's What New Sweeping CT Emissions-Reduction Law Means To You

Connecticut is taking steps to improve air quality.
Connecticut is taking steps to improve air quality. Photo Credit: Pixabay/Mikes-Photography

Connecticut is joining many of its neighboring states in adopting new emissions standards for medium and heavy-duty vehicles to improve air quality across the state.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced that state lawmakers approved legislation that would see the state adopt California’s emissions standards, similar to neighboring Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey.

According to Lamont, the new 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 sweeping new standards also include changes under the Connecticut Clean Air Act and established multiple new programs and initiatives regarding electric vehicles and improving air quality.

“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,” Lamont stated.

Officials noted that transportation is responsible for more than two-thirds of the emissions of nitrogen oxides in Connecticut, which contribute to smog.

Of that 67 percent, they said that medium and heavy-duty vehicles – which include trucks, buses, and smaller delivery vehicles – account for as much as 53 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions, despite being only 6 percent of the on-road vehicle fleet.

Transportation is also the largest source of statewide greenhouse gas emissions at 37 percent, according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (DEEP) most recent Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory.

In order to meet Connecticut’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for 2030, officials said that emissions from transportation must decline by approximately one-third.

“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,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “(It’s) 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 (the legislation) will ensure Connecticut residents and businesses can access clean, affordable electric bikes, passenger vehicles, trucks, school buses, and transit buses.” 

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