Save the Sound Celebrates General Assembly’s Passage of S.B. 4 for Clean Transportation

Passage builds on momentum of yesterday’s Clean Energy Bills

Hartford, CT – This afternoon, following 5 hours of debate, the Connecticut House of Representatives passed S.B. 4 An Act Concerning the Connecticut Clean Air Act in a 95-52 vote. This bill will reduce greenhouse gas and other polluting emissions from the transportation sector by strengthening vehicle standards and expanding public and private use of electric vehicles in Connecticut to protect human health and the environment.

“We applaud the General assembly for taking action this session to address the climate crisis and passing a transportation bill that will reduce emissions and expand clean transportation opportunities,” said Charles Rothenberger, climate and energy attorney with Save the Sound. “Senate Bill 4 contains many provisions Save the Sound has been working on throughout the pandemic, and we are pleased to see them come to fruition. These measures will help Connecticut reduce emissions from the transportation sector and start putting us back on track to meeting our greenhouse gas reduction obligations under the Global Warming Solutions Act. Reducing pollution from the transportation sector, the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, is absolutely critical to a healthy Connecticut. Of particular note are the provisions authorizing the state to adopt California’s groundbreaking regulations on medium and heavy-duty vehicle emissions; requiring a 100 percent transition to electric school buses by 2040; and strengthening the state’s lead by example efforts by ending the purchase of diesel transit buses by 2024 and transitioning 100% of the state’s light-duty vehicle fleet to battery electric vehicles by 2030.”

Provisions in S.B. 4 that will reduce transportation emissions include:

  1. authorizing adoption of California’s Medium and Heavy-Duty vehicle standards (section 15);
  2. requiring that all school buses in the state be EV buses by 2040 (section 13);
  3. requiring the state to lead by example by ending the purchase of diesel transit buses by 2024 and requiring that 100 percent of the state’s light-duty vehicle fleet transition to battery electric vehicles by 2030 (Section 1);
  4. increasing available incentive funding for EVs (section 10);
  5. expanding access to EV charging infrastructure (sections 2 and 17); and
  6. establishing a matching grant program to help deploy electric school buses and setting goals to achieve a 100% electric school bus fleet by 2040.

California’s medium and heavy‐duty vehicle emission standards establish more stringent emissions standards for heavy-duty on-road engines, and require manufacturers to offer increasing numbers of zero-emission trucks for sale beginning in 2024.

The passage of S.B. 4 in the House follows yesterday’s passage of S.B. 10 An Act Concerning Climate Change Mitigation, requiring Connecticut to supply 100 percent zero-carbon electricity to all customers by 2040; S.B. 176 An Act Concerning Clean Energy Tariff Programs, raising solar program caps; and S.B. 93 An Act Concerning the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program, increasing financing opportunities for the installation of zero-emission vehicle charging infrastructure and resilience improvements on qualifying commercial real property. All bills had previously passed the Senate, and will now go to Governor Lamont for his signature.

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