Maryland becomes 10th state to adopt life-saving clean trucks standards


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Maryland becomes 10th state to adopt life-saving clean trucks standards

The Advanced Clean Trucks rule, approved by the General Assembly in April, cleans up toxic tailpipe pollution by gradually phasing in zero-emission trucks and buses. 

Annapolis – Following official publication in the state’s Register, Maryland has become the tenth state to adopt the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) rule. The new standard sets targets for delivery of new zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles to the state that gradually increase each year. These yearly increases end in 2035, at which time zero-emission truck sales would need to comprise 55% of pickup truck/van sales, 75% of rigid/box truck sales, and 40% of truck tractor sales.

Clean air, health, business, and climate advocates celebrated the formal adoption of the ACT rule as an important milestone in meeting Maryland’s ambitious climate targets. Despite accounting for just 9% of Maryland’s registered vehicles, medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses generate 39% of smog-forming nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution, 48% of particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution, and 21% of greenhouse gas emissions from all on-road vehicles in the state.

It is critical that Maryland begin implementation of the Advanced Clean Trucks rule as early as possible, beginning in model year 2027. The pollution reduction associated with electrifying medium- and heavy-duty trucks and transitioning to renewable electricity is estimated to create $19.8 billion in health benefits for Maryland from 2020–2050, avoiding more than 1,800 premature deaths, 46,800 asthma attacks, and 231,200 lost work days.

Maryland’s General Assembly provided legislative approval for the new standard back in April by passing the Clean Trucks Act of 2023.

In response to today’s announcement, Maryland businesses and clean air, health, and climate advocates released the following statements:

“IKEA is committed to 100% zero emissions home deliveries. As we drive toward our vision for a clean transportation future, we need smart policies to help accelerate the availability of and access to medium-and heavy -duty electric vehicles,” said Steve Moelk, fulfillment project implementation manager, at IKEA Retail U.S. “The ACT rule is vital to helping Maryland companies meet our climate goals to move away from dirty deliveries and toward a cleaner and more just economy.”

“The transition to electric fleets is beginning to take shape. State policies like the ACT rule create a foundation for an electrified future – one where a diverse array of electric vehicles are driving on our nation’s roads and a robust charging network is built out from coast to coast,” said Ryan Dalton, Head of External Affairs and Policy, Northeast/Mid-Atlantic, at Siemens. “By adopting the ACT rule, Governor Moore has again established Maryland as a leader in America’s green economy – producing lower carbon emissions and less pollution — all while creating equitable economic benefits for its communities.”

“Rivian applauds the implementation of the Advanced Clean Trucks regulation in Maryland,” said Tom Van Heeke, senior policy advisor at Rivian. “This is a big step forward for the state, cementing Maryland’s place as a clean transportation leader and a priority market for zero-emission vans and trucks. This is a win for the climate and communities burdened by air pollution.”

"With my community being one of the more industrialized areas in MD and transportation being the largest contributor to the climate crisis, resulting in noise pollution, harm to air quality, and adverse effects on the health of our children, seniors, and overall community, the official adoption of the ACT can significantly improve the quality of life for people experiencing negative health impacts. Maryland could potentially generate $880 million in health benefits from 2022-2050. What's not to like about that?" said Sarahia Benn, President/CEO of Policy Foundation of Maryland.

"The Advanced Clean Trucks rule will bring more clean electric trucks and school buses to our communities," said Josh Tulkin, Maryland Sierra Club Director. “Transportation is the largest source of climate pollution in Maryland and a leading source of toxic air pollution that is hazardous to human health. Adopting strong clean vehicle standards will help put the state on track to meet its ambitious climate goals, reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and improve public health."

“CALSTART applauds the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE), and the continued support of the Moore Administration, in their pursuit of zero-emission transportation policies that will incentivize clean trucks and reduce pollution burden for Marylanders,” said Alissa Burger, Regional Policy Director at CALSTART. “This is a unique point in history as rapid technological innovation in the zero-emission truck industry provides a critical opportunity to transition the heavy-duty transportation sector to zero-emission vehicles. And Maryland is smartly acting now, joining nine other states in what will be a first movers advantage.”

“Maryland’s adoption of the Advanced Clean Truck rule showcases state leadership at its best; safeguarding public health, prioritizing environmental protection, and fostering economic growth. With this decision, Maryland demonstrates a clear commitment to a cleaner, healthier future for its residents and the generations to come,” said Guillermo Ortiz, Clean Vehicles Advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“Businesses and fleet owners are eager to adopt innovative clean vehicles that both reduce dangerous pollution and cut fuel and maintenance costs,” said Alli Gold Roberts, senior director for state policy at Ceres. “The adoption of the ACT rule will help ensure that companies can make this transition on a timeline that aligns with Maryland’s ambitious climate goals. We look forward to the state realizing the major climate, public health, and business benefits of investing in clean trucks.”

"Electric trucks and buses are ready for work today and have huge benefits for public health, the economy, and the climate," said Kevin Shen, Northeast Transportation Policy Analyst/Advocate at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Maryland’s adoption of the Advanced Clean Trucks rule is a crucial step in meeting our state’s climate commitments and addressing its persistent ozone issues, while also saving on costs for fleets and utility customers across the state.”

"Adoption of the Advanced Clean Trucks rule is a clear signal to manufacturers, fleets, and consumers that Maryland is investing in the zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicle market," said Neda Deylami, Vehicle Electrification Manager at Environmental Defense Fund. "The rule will address the disproportionate impact diesel vehicle emissions have on local air pollution and its harm to public health, especially for those who already live with higher pollution risk."

“The adoption of the Advanced Clean Truck rule is an important step toward cleaner air and healthier communities in Maryland,” said John Carlson, Senior Northeast Regional Policy Manager at Clean Air Task Force (CATF). “The transportation sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the state. CATF applauds Governor Moore and the state legislature for their leadership in tackling these emissions to protect public health and the climate.”