NY Gov. Hochul announces actions to make transportation sector greener, reduce emissions

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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday that the state would take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution from the transportation sector.

Hochul signed legislation that sets a goal for all new passenger cars and trucks sold in the state to be zero-emissions by 2035. Additionally, Hochul directed the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation to release a proposed regulation to accelerate zero-emission truck sales. Part of the state’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by 2050, the directives come in advance of the state’s Climate Week 2021.

“New York is implementing the nation’s most aggressive plan to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions affecting our climate and to reach our ambitious goals, we must reduce emissions from the transportation sector, currently the largest source of the state’s climate pollution,” Hochul said. “The new law and regulation mark a critical milestone in our efforts and will further advance the transition to clean electric vehicles, while helping to reduce emissions in communities that have been overburdened by pollution from cars and trucks for decades.”

The proposed regulation would require truck manufacturers to transition to zero-emission vehicles. Beginning with vehicle model year 2025, manufacturers would be required to meet an annual sales percentage of zero-emission trucks. By 2035, 55 percent of new Class 2b-3 pickup trucks and vans, 75 percent of Class 4-8 trucks, and 40 percent of new Class 7-8 trucks sold in the state would need to be zero-emission.

Additionally, new off-road vehicles and equipment sold in New York would be targeted to be zero-emissions by 2035, and new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles would be zero-emissions by 2045. The legislation also requires the state to develop a zero-emissions vehicles development strategy by 2023, led by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to speed up implementation of the policies and programs needed to reach the new goals.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates New York’s commitment to reduce climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions from the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, the transportation sector,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “The codification of our EV goals and Advanced Clean Track regulation will combat the detrimental effects of climate change while reducing ozone, particulate matter, and mobile source air toxic pollution in communities that have borne the brunt of pollution from vehicles for far too long. When adopted, this new regulation will require an increasing percentage of all new trucks sold in New York to be zero-emissions vehicles beginning with the 2025 model year, cementing our state as a national leader on actions to address climate change while spurring economic opportunities and helping to reduce air pollution.”