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Smith Bill Establishing ‘Clean Vehicle Task Force’ Clears Senate

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

TRENTON – Today, the Senate 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.

“Motor vehicle emissions have a tremendous impact on the environment,” said Senator Smith (D-Middlesex/Somerset). “The goal of this legislation is to have a cleaner fleet that guarantees the health of the citizens facing the challenge of air pollution, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and strengthens the state 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-985) would establish the Clean Vehicle Task Force; whose 13 members would evaluate issues related to the promotion, development and uses 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 establishing.

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 standardsmade by federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and 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 clarifies that, as it has since 2009, the Department of Environmental Protection would be required to continue implementing the California Low Emission Vehicle Program and the California zero-emission vehicle requirements.

The bill was approved by the Senate with a vote of 21-9. Now the bill heads to the Assembly for further consideration.