The NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is moving forward on the development of an Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) rule, as directed by Gov. Roy Cooper.
ACT will require truck manufacturers to gradually grow the North Carolina share of their medium and heavy-duty (MHD) truck sales consisting of zero-emission vehicles (ZEV), with the goal of reaching 100% of sales by 2050. “Trucks” in this context include a variety of commercial vehicles, including delivery vans, box trucks, garbage trucks, and semi tractors.
North Carolina’s clean energy advocates are enthusiastic about the potential of ACT to reduce our state’s contribution to carbon emissions and air pollution. Kym Meyer, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) said, “Reducing the pollution from medium and heavy-duty trucks that poisons the air we breathe in North Carolina and contributes to climate change is essential to protecting people’s health and our communities. We are thrilled to see North Carolina leading the national transition to cleaner and more affordable vehicles. The move will more quickly benefit North Carolinians with more vehicle choices in the marketplace, less volatile fuel prices, and cleaner, healthier air.”
DEQ’s rule development process begins today (Monday, January 9) with an ACT public information webinar from 3-4 p.m. Consultations with stakeholders including “local governments, environmental justice organizations, underserved communities, automobile manufacturers, motor fleet owners, electric utilities, the North Carolina Utilities Commission, public health experts, [and] environmental organizations” will follow through five in-person and virtual meetings from January 13 through February 21.
The ACT program was mandated by Gov. Cooper’s Executive Order 271, issued October 25, 2022. “The Order positions North Carolina to benefit from the global market transition to zero-emission vans, buses and trucks by ensuring that new vehicle technologies will be available to businesses across the state and directing state agencies to pursue strategies and investments that will support the affordable, equitable and reliable growth of the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) market. By reducing pollution from dirty vehicles that harm all North Carolinians and especially low-income communities and communities of color, the Order will encourage economic development and job growth across the state, maximize consumer choice for small businesses and advance the state’s climate and environmental justice objectives.”