DNREC’s Clean Transportation Incentive Programs offer rebates and incentives for electric and bi-fuel vehicles, as well as for the installation of public charging stations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision this week to reinstate a California waiver that contains more stringent emissions limits for passenger vehicles in 14 states, including Delaware, has drawn praise from Delaware’s leaders for helping curtail air pollution while improving air quality. Governor John Carney called it “a necessary action to restore California’s authority under the Clean Air Act” while Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn Garvin said the ruling enabled Delaware to “take the wheel and better steer our very determined and ongoing efforts to improve the state’s air quality.”
EPA’s actions as directed by the Biden Administration put back in place the California waiver, which gave that state the ability to set vehicle emissions standards that are more stringent than federal requirements. Reinstating the California waiver gives other states the authority either to follow federal standards or to adopt the more stringent standards set by California. Delaware adopted California’s Low Emission Vehicle standards in 2010. Delaware and the other 13 states and the District of Columbia who have adopted the California emissions standards have reduced their greenhouse gas and criteria air pollutant emissions while improving air quality, and also capitalized on the California waiver for helping mitigate the effects of climate change and sea level rise.
Having recently unveiled Delaware’s Climate Action Plan, which outlines strategies for the state to transition to zero-emission vehicles and energy-efficient transportation systems, Governor Carney hailed the EPA’s restoration of the waiver, which will again require automakers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as emissions of other harmful air pollutants.
“Delawareans, and all Americans, stand to benefit from putting cleaner cars on our roads and being proactive toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Governor Carney said. “Revoking the California waiver ignored the longstanding authority in the Clean Air Act for states to adopt California’s stronger vehicle emission standards. This is critical to Delaware for mitigating the impacts of climate change. Delaware is the lowest-lying state, and the transportation sector has become a significant contributor in degrading our air quality. This action puts us in position to move beyond that temporary roadblock toward a cleaner future – with cleaner air – for Delawareans.”
DNREC Secretary Garvin said that even after EPA rescinded the California waiver, Delaware remained focused on making progress toward improving air quality. For example, DNREC’s Clean Transportation Incentive Programs offer rebates and incentives for electric and bi-fuel vehicles, as well as for the installation of public charging stations.
“We continue to provide opportunities for clean vehicle ownership so that Delawareans can take an active role in improving our state’s air quality while also helping us take on one of the state’s major challenges to public health,” Secretary Garvin said. “Today we can thank the EPA for making the road ahead less cumbersome for our clean air future.”
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.