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

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

In December 2021, Governor Lamont signed a sweeping climate executive order directing CTDOT, DEEP, and all other state agencies to take meaningful actions to reduce carbon emissions. Standing outside the CTDOT headquarters in Newington 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 government can continue to be innovative and effective while also becoming more environmentally sustainable,” Governor Lamont said. “I am proud that our government is leading the way and state agencies are making meaningful progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We are more effective when we are working together to reduce our carbon footprint and mitigate our impact on climate change.”

Transportation remains the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Connecticut. 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 for electrifying 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 on order. The state agency also has 30 free public electric vehicle charging stations at its Newington headquarters. Additionally, CTDOT has provided 104 Community Connectivity Grant Program awards totaling more than $38 million in communities around the state. The governor’s budget includes even more funding for the award-winning program.

“We know that communities of color and other vulnerable communities have been the most impacted by 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 keep communities healthy. We are doing our part to create a cleaner, more equitable, and resilient transportation system.”

Today, Governor Lamont also highlighted another action he’s taking to reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector – a legislative proposal he introduced that is currently under consideration by the state legislature (House Bill 5039) that seeks to adopt stronger emissions standards for medium and heavy-duty vehicles, which account for as much as 53% of nitrogen oxide emissions in Connecticut, despite being only 6% of the on-road vehicle fleet. Adopting these standards – which have already been adopted by New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts – would not mandate that Connecticut businesses purchase these vehicles, nor would it place affirmative requirements on those businesses. The standards will ensure manufacturers are producing cleaner vehicles and offering them for sale in Connecticut, giving prospective consumers more options.

“Cleaner air, better health outcomes, and reductions in our greenhouse gas emissions are all possible if we adopt California’s MHD standards,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “Clean air is a policy choice, and adopting these standards means telling auto manufacturers that Connecticut residents and businesses want more options for cleaner operating vehicles that will lead to cleaner air and less money spent on healthcare costs associated with lung diseases aggravated by air pollution from the transportation sector. This is the right choice for Connecticut residents, and for our environment.”

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