Supports New York State’s Efforts to Reduce Harmful Air Emissions, Particularly in Environmental Justice Communities Disproportionately Overburdened by Pollution
“New York State continues to lead the nation in taking bold action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants that harm our environment, economy, and affect Environmental Justice communities that are disproportionately impacted by pollution,” Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “This latest diesel truck detail, happening as we commemorate Earth Week, will take dirty trucks off our roads and provides us with a great example of why we need to accelerate our transition from fossil fuels to prevent the damage they cause to our climate and the health of our communities.”
The detail will help identify non-compliant heavy-duty vehicles and reduce emissions of fine particulate matter in disadvantaged communities where there is often significant heavy-duty vehicle traffic. DEC’s Earth Week enforcement details are happening in and around Environmental Justice communities in Suffolk, Nassau, Queens, Bronx, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Schoharie, Delaware, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Clinton, Washington, Warren, Saratoga, St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Oneida, Cortland, Oswego, Broome, Seneca, Schuyler, Steuben, Allegany, Chautauqua, Niagara, and Erie counties.
In addition to conducting emissions inspections on diesel vehicles, ECOs will also engage in targeted enforcement of regulations restricting idling time for diesel vehicles. Reduced idling time cuts down on air pollution and noise, improves fuel economy, and saves diesel operators and consumers money. Officers will also monitor compliance of pesticide applications, solid waste transportation, and open burning as part of the Earth Week detail.
New York prioritizes climate justice in several ways, including in the implementation of the ambitious Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act which requires the State to invest or direct resources to ensure that disadvantaged communities receive at least 35 percent, with the goal of 40 percent, of overall benefits of spending on clean energy and energy efficiency programs. Draft criteria developed by the Climate Justice Working Group will guide the equitable implementation of the Climate Act. The draft criteria include an interactive map and list of communities the criteria would cover for directing programs and projects to reduce air pollution and climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions, provide economic development opportunities, and target clean energy and energy efficiency investments. New Yorkers can comment on the draft disadvantaged communities criteria until July 7, 2022, by going to https://climate.ny.gov. In addition, the Draft Scoping Plan, which describes recommended policies and actions to help New York meet its climate directives as part of the Climate Act, is available for public comment until June 10, 2022, at https://climate.ny.gov.
The transition to electric vehicles (EVs) is a critical component of improving the air quality in disadvantaged communities and will achieve the goals in the Climate Act. Earlier this year, Governor Kathy Hochul’s State of the State address included several initiatives to support New York’s transition to electric vehicles, including: the commitment to convert the State agency fleet to all zero-emission vehicles by 2035; require the purchase of zero-emission school buses by 2027; and invest $1 billion in electric transportation, mostly directed to charging infrastructure.
For more information visit Heavy Duty Vehicles - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation.