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State celebrates law aimed at cleaning up air and cutting vehicle emissions

The new state law will allow Connecticut to join its neighbors Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey in adopting California’s emissions standards for trucks and buses.
David McNew
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The new state law will allow Connecticut to join its neighbors Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey in adopting California’s emissions standards for trucks and buses.

State officials promoted the Connecticut Clean Air Act in New Haven Friday, which passed the legislature and was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont in May.

The wide-ranging legislation was framed by Lamont as a major step forward for state climate policy at a time when federal action on the climate is largely stalled.

“There are more excuses for inaction – and we don’t accept that here in Connecticut,” said Lamont.

The Supreme Court recently curtailed the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate carbon emissions from power plants, and President Joe Biden has dramatically scaled back his ambitious climate plans due to congressional pushback.

The new state law will allow Connecticut to join its neighbors Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey in adopting California’s emissions standards for trucks and buses.

That means manufacturers must produce a higher percentage of clean vehicles and offer them for sale in the state.

The law will also help electrify school buses, modernize traffic signals and build out electric vehicle charging stations across Connecticut.

It also provides more financial incentives for people who are looking to purchase an electric vehicle or an electric bike.

State Sen. Will Haskell (D-Westport), co-chair of the state’s Transportation Committee, said he hopes the state builds on the law in the future to meet the challenge of climate change.

“There’s no such thing as Democratic air or Republican air,” said Haskell. “There’s only clean air that keeps us alive and dirty air that makes us sick.”

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached by phone at 860-275-7297 or by email: pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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