Environmental and Business Groups celebrate passage of the Clean Trucks Act

Annapolis, Maryland Today, environmental, business, and community groups celebrated the Maryland General Assembly’s passage of the Clean Trucks Act of 2023 (HB 230/SB 224) sponsored by Delegate Sara Love and President Pro Tem Malcolm Augustine. The bill requires the Maryland Department of Environment to adopt a regulation known as the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) rule by the end of this year. The rule sets requirements for vehicle manufacturers to sell an increasing annual percentage of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles – including electric trucks, delivery vans, and school buses – in the state beginning in Model Year 2027.

“We are thrilled with the passage of the Clean Trucks Act of 2023,” said Maryland Sierra Club Director Josh Tulkin. “Transportation is the largest source of climate pollution in the state and a leading source of toxic air pollution that is hazardous to human health. This legislation, combined with the Governor’s complementary funding bill, marks a major step towards reaching the state goal of achieving 60% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2031. We applaud the sponsors Delegate Love and Senator Augustine for advancing this critical legislation that will bring clean electric trucks and school buses to our communities.”

“This is a great step in addressing the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in Maryland, transportation. Maryland LCV congratulates the bill’s sponsors, Delegate Sara Love and Senator Malcolm Augustine, for their hard work and perseverance in getting this bill across the finish line,”said Ramón Palencia-Calvo, Deputy Executive Director of Maryland LCV.

“Companies across the economy have made it clear that they want access to clean medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that are good for the climate, for the communities they do business in, and for their bottom lines.” said Alli Gold Roberts, Senior Director of State Policy at Ceres “We applaud Del. Love and Sen. Augustine for their leadership and are pleased to see the Maryland legislature take action to ensure clean trucks and vans are available at the scale and speed necessary to meet both the strong market demand and the state’s ambitious climate targets.”

“We need to have clean air and a reduction in noise pollution, said Sarahia Benn of Policy Foundation Maryland. “Adopting the Advanced Clean trucks rule would be a game changer for my community because we’d move from having people experiencing negative health impacts to having a better quality of life.”

The Clean Trucks Act contains provisions, similar to complementary funding also found in Governor Moore’s Clean Transportation & Energy Act, that provide grants and rebates for zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and charging infrastructure. The Governor’s bill is poised for passage later this week.

Section 177 of the federal Clean Air Act allows states to adopt vehicle emissions standards that are identical to those adopted by the State of California. In 2020, in the absence of federal regulations, California set the first-in-the-nation standards for the sale of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty trucks through adoption of the ACT Rule. Since then, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have also adopted the Rule, and a number of other states are considering adoption.

“Maryland’s adoption of the Advanced Clean Truck Standard is a historic moment for the transportation sector. This is a huge step forward in shifting to zero-emissions transportation to protect people in freight-impacted communities living with the harmful impacts of deadly air pollution. We’re thrilled that Maryland is joining six other states in sending this important signal to truck manufacturers that zero-emissions is the future,” said Susan Stevens Miller, Senior Attorney with Earthjustice’s Right to Zero campaign.

“Rivian applauds the passage of the Clean Trucks Act of 2023,” said Tom Van Heeke, Senior Policy Advisor at Rivian. “Implementing the Advanced Clean Trucks rule will ensure Maryland is a priority market for zero-emission vans and trucks and will benefit both the climate and communities burdened by air pollution. We look forward to supporting the Maryland Department of Environment in adopting the final regulations before the end of the year.”

“Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles contribute 21% of climate pollution and nearly half of all particulate matter pollution (PM2.5) emitted by the entire transportation sector in Maryland. Communities of color and low-wealth communities are often located near major roads and highways and face disproportionate burdens from traffic and transportation pollution. They will especially benefit from the implementation of the Clean Trucks Act, which will ensure a cleaner future for all Marylanders,” said Palencia-Calvo.

In 2023, the Maryland Commission on Climate Change included a recommendation in its annual report that the state adopt the ACT Rule. Companies across the nation are increasingly demanding electric trucks and vans to help them meet their climate and pollution reduction goals, and to save on the costs of fuel and maintenance. Maryland and other states can take advantage of an estimated $2.8 billion of federal grant funding from the federal Inflation Reduction Act, and billions more in grants from the federal Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, to purchase zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and charging infrastructure.