(WTNH) – Standing in the 90-plus degree heat on Friday, state leaders and Governor Ned Lamont celebrated Connecticut’s Clean Air Act.
Raising the emission standards, lawmakers want to make sure manufacturers produce cleaner vehicles and they are mandating zero-emission school buses by 2030.
The bipartisan Clean Air Act aims to lower carbon emissions so everyone can have cleaner air.
State Senator Will Haskell from the legislative Transportation Committee said, “We cannot wait for Washington to step up and save the planet!”
Connecticut leaders tout the Clean Air Act, which includes $20 million for more electric buses, school buses, and needed charging infrastructure.
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker explained, “if you go out in New Haven, you never quite sure where the next charging station is going to be in which you can make it back.”
The law adopts California emission standards aimed at diesel trucks, with a goal of improving air quality by reducing transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. It comes at a time when leaders say environmental protections are at risk.
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes took aim at Washington D.C. politics.
“The Supreme Court taking steps to undermine EPA’s authority to be able to implement federal programs that can provide for climate and air pollution regulations across the country,” Dykes said.
Last fall, governor Ned Lamont pulled the plug on his Transportation Climate Initiative, a cap and trade scheme to reduce carbon emissions and allow producers to trade the credits. Opponents called it a gas tax, environmentalists cried foul.
News 8 asked Lamont if he is re-elected would he bring TCI back?
“It only works if you do it in association with all the other states in the region. And you know, right now it’s not on our agenda, ” added Lamont.
In the meantime, state transportation officials are investing in electric buses and trains.
Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe Giulietti remarked, “it’s so nice to hear a bus that’s behind you that’s not making the noise or emitting any of the air, either the propane or the diesel fumes.”
Traffic signal lights are also part of the legislation. Communities will get grant money to sync them up so that cars are not idling at the intersections adding to dangerous emissions.
State Sen. Martin Looney, the Democratic State Senate President, said the law sets a standard.
“I think this bill puts a marker down that Connecticut is serious about environmental planning,” Looney said.
Leaders say electric car registrations have doubled in the last year.
Part of the bill allows folks to get a voucher if they buy an electric bicycle the value is about $500. The problem is the bikes are costly running about $2,000 dollars.