WETHERSFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut is taking a big step to become greener and reduce air pollution.
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) announced Wednesday the state is joining 14 other states and Washington D.C. to eradicate the emissions of larger vehicles.
DEEP said many states including Connecticut have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to help each other “advance and accelerate the market for electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.”
The specific vehicles affected by the MOU include:
- large pickup trucks and vans
- delivery trucks
- box trucks
- school and transit buses
- long-haul delivery trucks (big-rigs).
By 2030, the states want at least 30% of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles sold to be zero-emission vehicles (ZEV), and want to reach all 100% of those vehicles by 2050.
Connecticut’s transportation sector produces 70% of smog and 38% of greenhouse gasses in the state, according to DEEP. The state hopes to reduce the air and smog pollution in Connecticut and around the Tri-state region.
DEEP added that both the cities of “New Haven and Hartford rank in the top 20 of the 100 largest U.S. cities where it is most challenging to live with asthma.”
The Motor Transport Association of Connecticut expressed concern for the transportation industry with the state joining the MOU.
MTAC President Joe Sculley released a statement saying in part,
“This MOU is a signal that a group of states are pushing towards a patchwork of state-by-state laws to govern an interstate industry that depends on uniformity. Connecticut and these other states are trying to set emissions standards which are typically set by the federal government’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), not by individual states.”
“Creating a mandate to force the sale of more expensive trucks in certain states will just push truck sales (and jobs) to other states. It will put Connecticut businesses on an unlevel playing field.” Sculley said. “Meanwhile, non-electric trucks sold in other states will continue to drive through Connecticut anyway.”