Governor Lamont, DOT, DEEP and Community Partners Celebrate Earth Day 2022

Press conference

22/04/2022

Governor Lamont, DOT, DEEP and Community Partners Celebrate Earth Day 2022

(NEWINGTON, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today joined the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), local officials, and community partners to celebrate the 52nd anniversaryand Earth Day commemoration, underscores the importance of reducing carbon emissions from the transportation sector to combat the climate crisis, improve air quality, improve health and quality of life of the population.

In December 2021, Governor Lamont signed a broad climate executive order directing CTDOT, DEEP and all other state agencies to take meaningful action to reduce carbon emissions. Standing outside CTDOT’s Newington headquarters where there are now 30 free public electric vehicle charging stations, Governor Lamont highlighted ongoing efforts to reduce carbon emissions for a cleaner and healthier Connecticut.

“The State of Connecticut is an example of how governments can continue to innovate and be effective while being more environmentally friendly.” Governor Lamont said. “I am proud that our government is taking the lead and state agencies are making significant progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We are more effective when we work together to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce our impact on climate change.”

Transportation remains Connecticut’s single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Under the governor’s executive order, CTDOT can no longer purchase or use state funds to purchase diesel buses after 2023 and must create a roadmap to electrify the state’s bus fleet by 2035. CTDOT now has ten battery electric buses on the road, with two more coming soon, and nearly 50 more are on order. The state agency also has 30 free public electric vehicle charging stations at its Newington headquarters. In addition, CTDOT has awarded 104 Community Connectivity Grant Program awards totaling over $38 million in communities across the state. The governor’s budget includes more funding for award-winning programs.

“We know that communities of color and other vulnerable communities are the most affected by the harmful air pollution caused by transportation.” CTDOT Commissioner Joseph Giulietti said. “The Connecticut Department of Transportation is committed to investing in sustainable solutions that protect the environment and safeguard public health. We are doing our part to create a cleaner, fairer and resilient transport system.”

Today, Governor Lamont also highlighted another action he is taking to reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector – a legislative proposal he introduced that is currently being considered by the state legislature (House Bill 5039) which seeks to adopt stronger emission standards for medium and heavy duty vehicles, which account for as much as 53% of Connecticut’s nitrogen oxide emissions, despite only 6% of the vehicle fleet on the road. Adopting this standard – which has been adopted by New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts – would not mandate that a Connecticut business purchase these vehicles, nor would it place an affirmative requirement on the business. The standards will ensure manufacturers produce cleaner vehicles and offer them for sale in Connecticut, giving potential consumers more choice.

“Cleaner air, better health outcomes, and a reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions are all possible if we adopt California’s MHD standard,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “Clean air is a policy choice, and adopting this standard means letting automakers know that Connecticut residents and businesses want more options for cleaner-operating vehicles that will result in cleaner air and less money spent on health care related costs. with lung disease exacerbated by air pollution from the transport sector. This is the right choice for the people of Connecticut, and for our environment.”

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