NGVAmerica’s Dan Gage Testifies on NJ Advanced Clean Truck Program
On May 21st, NGVAmerica provided oral comments during the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s public hearing on the proposed Advance Clean Truck (ACT) Program. The ACT Program essentially proposes to adopt the same sales mandate adopted last year by California authorities with requirements for new medium- and heavy-duty trucks starting in 2025. New Jersey also plans to collect information from fleets in order to inform future rulemakings, possibly including fleet purchase mandates.
NGVAmerica President Dan Gage stated that NGVAmerica members “support the ultimate goal of the Advanced Clean Truck Rule – to decarbonize the medium- and heavy-duty transportation sector as quickly as possible while greatly reducing harmful criteria emissions that contribute to poor air quality and federal ambient air standards non-attainment.” Mr. Gage, however, cautioned that “reliance upon a sales mandate for vehicles that are not commercially available, affordable, or proven is a recipe for disaster.” The remarks highlighted the availability, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of ultra-low NOx medium- and heavy-duty natural gas-powered trucks and buses that today are 95 percent cleaner than federal NOx standard and 98 cleaner than the federal particulate matter standard.
Addressing the climate change benefits, Mr. Gage noted that natural gas “trucks and buses produce greenhouse gas emissions that are up to 500 percent lower than diesel powered vehicles and deliver carbon neutral or carbon negative emissions in even the most specialized real world applications.”
“Latest data from California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard program demonstrates how clean and low carbon these heavy-duty, high fuel use vehicles truly are. For the first time ever, last year California fleets fueled with bio-CNG were carbon-negative, based on an annual average carbon intensity score of -5.845 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per Mega Joule.”
NGVAmerica urged New Jersey officials to include existing near-zero technology vehicles in the ACT Program, and pointed to examples of how NGVs already are contributing to the well-being of New Jersey as NGVs are deployed throughout the state in a variety of applications… trash, transit, short haul and middle mile freighting as well as port drayage operations. In trash alone, over 500 natural gas refuse trucks service three-quarters of New Jersey, representing some $200 million in private decarbonization investment.
Mr. Gage concluded by pointing out that the aggressive decarbonization goals established by federal, state and local leaders will only be achieved by a multi-technology approach that includes cost-effective carbon-negative solutions like RNG trucks that can begin accruing and compounding significant clean air and carbon reductions right away.
Organizations wishing to provide written comments should do so by June 18, 2021. Written comments may be submitted electronically at www.nj.gov/dep/rules/comments.