New Jersey has become the first state in the nation to announce plans to adopt California’s Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) and Heavy-Duty Omnibus rules as momentum builds to expand the Golden State’s aggressive zero-emission trucking policies to other parts of the country.
The plans were announced as part of the ongoing New Jersey Protecting Against Climate Threats (PACT) activities during a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) meeting last week.
DEP staffers are drafting rules around the new policies, to be published this spring.
California sets the precedent
On June 25, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved the first-of-its-kind ACT rule, a regulation that requires original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to sell an increasing number of electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks.
On the heels of that rule, in July, 15 states and the District of Columbia signed an agreement pledging to work collectively to limit air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from commercial trucks.
The signatories are California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington and Vermont.
Now New Jersey has moved ahead of that pack by adopting the ACT rule. The mandate would start with the 2025 model year and the number of trucks that fall under the rule would increase until 2035.
The DEP also is drafting verbiage to adopt California’s Heavy-Duty Omnibus rule, which slashes pollutants from new diesel truck sales. So while the ACT rule aims to phase out sales of diesel trucks, in the interim, new diesel trucks will have to adhere to stricter tailpipe emissions regulations.
The heavy-duty trucking industry is divided on emissions rules such as the electrification mandate. While many fleets are concerned about the expense and availability of electric big rigs, a growing number of logistics companies, cognizant of their customers’ sustainability goals, have endorsed the proposals.
This summer, 37 businesses and investors sent a statement of support to the states that had pledged to reduce trucking emissions. One of the signatories was Greg Hewitt, CEO of DHL Express U.S., who said in the letter that DHL “understands the economic and health risks of climate change and transportation-related air pollution.”
The Biden presidency also is expected to accelerate implementation of policies that encourage a transition to zero-emissions commercial vehicles.
The New Jersey Motor Truck Association did not immediately respond to FreightWaves’ request for comment.