Bill Memo: Banning Emissions Tampering

2 Tree: Substantial benefit rating

Summary

This bill would amend the public authorities law directing NYSERDA to create and manage a municipal renewable energy system siting database and to provide technical assistance to help promote renewable energy siting on municipally owned land. The bill would amend section 1902 of the public authorities law by adding municipally owned lands available for renewable siting to the list of properties prioritized by NYSERDA’s Build Ready Program.

Explanation

This legislation prohibits the tampering of emissions control devices of heavy-duty vehicles and establishes a fine of $1000-5000 for such an offense, with an additional fine of $750 if the registered owner of a diesel–powered vehicle operates the vehicle with a defective emissions control device. By establishing a penalty for disabling an emissions control device or operating a heavy-duty vehicle without such a device, New York is demonstrating how important tailpipe pollution restriction are to the health and safety of its communities.   

Transportation emissions from the combustion of diesel fuels result in particle pollutants such as particulate matter 2.5, which has been linked to lung and heart disease. Low income communities and communities of color face increased levels of vehicle pollution as these communities are often intersected by heavily trafficked areas, transportation corridors, expressways and routes populated by heavy-duty vehicles such as ports. Requiring pollution control devices to be intact will help reduce this disproportionate emissions burden, thereby improving health outcomes.   

Air pollutants can fluctuate greatly over small distances and short time periods, which is why hyperlocal emissions controls are critical for reducing emissions and co-pollution overall. By creating more stringent regulations around emissions control devices for heavy-duty vehicles, New York is aligning regulation with the values of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), including co-pollutant reductions and the protection of disadvantaged communities.   

This bill would better conform with the spirit of the CLCPA if it was expressly stated that at least 35% of the penalty monies collected and deposited into the Environmental Protection Fund be invested in disadvantaged communities. 

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Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Substantial Benefit

Memo #: 40