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Smith Bill Establishing Clean Vehicle Task Force Advances

Senator Bob Smith congratulates Congressman Donald Norcross on his succession to the U.S. House of Representatives.


TRENTON – Today, the Senate Environment and Energy Committee approved legislation sponsored by Senator Bob Smith that would establish a 13-member Clean Vehicle Task Force to evaluate issues connected with promotion, development, and use of clean vehicles in the State.


“Vehicle emissions have a tremendous impact on the environment,” said Senator Smith (D-Middlesex/Somerset). “The goal of this legislation is to have a sustainable state that guarantees the health of the citizens facing the challenge of air pollution, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and protects against the impacts of climate change. This task force will help us find ways to protect the environment and advance our goal of slowing climate change for future generations.”


The bill (S-1793) would establish the Clean Vehicle Task Force, whose 13 members would evaluate issues related to the promotion, development, and use of low-, zero- or partial zero emission vehicles in New Jersey. The group would submit a report with recommendations to the governor and the Legislature within a year of forming.


The task force will be responsible for studying the development of electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell technology, identifying obstacles to the use of low-emission vehicles and evaluating any proposed or adopted changes with respect to air quality, and criteria emission standards, fuel economy, and greenhouse gas emission standards made by federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Furthermore, the task force will study the impact of these changes on the State as well as how they correlate and compare to the current implementation of the California Low Emission Vehicle program and the California zero-emission vehicle requirements in this state.


The legislation also reinforces in state law that the Department of Environment Protection will continue to implement the California Low Emission Vehicle Program and the California zero-emission vehicle requirements, as it has since January 1, 2009.


The bill was approved by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee with a vote of 5-0, and next heads to the full Senate for consideration.