News Release, Maryland Department of the Environment
Maryland, with 14 other states and the District of Columbia, signs agreement to increase electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, reduce emissions
BALTIMORE – The Hogan administration has committed to work with other states to reduce emissions from trucks, buses, and other large vehicles to improve air quality and combat the effects of climate change.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by Governor Larry Hogan, the governors of 14 other states, and the mayor of Washington, D.C., the signatories will collaborate to increase the number of electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles — pursuing a goal of all sales of these vehicles being zero-emission models by 2050.
The Maryland Department of the Environment, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), and the Maryland Energy Administration will work closely with motor carriers, environmental and public health experts, communities that are near heavy-duty freight corridors, and other stakeholders to develop a balanced and market-driven approach to cleaner trucking.
“Our administration is a leader on clean transportation and zero-emission vehicles and recognizes the value of working with other states, local, and private sector partners for environmental protection and economic progress,” said Governor Hogan. “We are proud to sign this MOU and continue our record of protecting the environment for future generations.”
“This is a bold step to cut greenhouse gases and smog and drive our ambitious climate goals forward with technology partnerships and regional collaborations that advance clean economies and healthy communities,” said Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles.
“This MOU launches the beginning of a dialogue with all stakeholders on how to replace aging freight vehicles with cleaner vehicles,” said Transportation Secretary Gregory Slater. “The COVID-19 pandemic showed us how critical our freight partners are in keeping the supply chain moving and driving our economy. A successful path forward to reducing emissions and creating jobs starts with the public sector, the private sector, and our communities working together as a team.”
Nationally, trucks and buses account for 4% of vehicles on the road but are responsible for nearly 25% of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Truck emissions are the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing emissions from transportation is a key element of Maryland’s draft Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act plan. Reducing these emissions also brings important public health benefits through lower levels of ozone, fine particles, and other pollutants – especially for communities with heavy truck traffic.
The states that signed the MOU will work through the multi-state Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Task Force facilitated by the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management to develop and implement a ZEV action plan for trucks and buses. With the transportation sector still recovering from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 emergency, Maryland will work to develop a market-friendly, thoughtful and balanced strategy to reduce emissions while preserving and creating jobs.
Maryland has made important strides in reducing emissions from medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. As part of the settlement of the Volkswagen “defeat devices” case, the Maryland Department of the Environment approved more than $2 million in funding and worked with five private fleets to replace 27 older diesel vehicles with new alternative-fueled vehicles.
In 2016 and 2018, MDE hosted roundtable discussions with industry, communities, state agencies, and advocacy groups on ways to move forward with programs and policies to reduce emissions from heavy-duty diesel vehicles.