The following contains Senator Raymond J. Lesniak’s testimony at the DEP hearing on May 20, 2021 for Advanced Clean Trucks Program and Fleet Reporting Requirements. 


Thank you for the opportunity to testify in support of Governor Murphy and DEP’s zero emissions vehicle program. Have you ever been stuck behind a truck bellowing black smoke? It’s not pleasant. Put yourself in the Ironbound section of Newark where these trucks are often idling for long periods of time waiting to enter Newark’s ports. As a result, all Ironbound residents, but particularly children and the elderly, have increased bouts of asthma and other illnesses. The proposed Rules will enhance the health and quality of life, not just for Ironbound residents, but also for all New Jersey residents.

Many years ago I served on the New Jersey Clean Car Commission and bought the first SUV hybrid off the assembly line. We’ve come a long way since then. Indeed, we’ve come a long way since I amended the Air Pollution Control Act to more strongly regulate toxic emissions after a worker on the Goethals Bridge was overcome by emissions from the nearby Dupont plant. I also sponsored the Environmental Cleanup Responsibility Act (ECRA), the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Pesticide Control Act and amendments to the Spill Act which were the precursor to the Federal Super Fund. These initiatives were among the most significant environmental protection measures in the country.

The Rules proposed today to reduce emissions from trucks and achieve the goal of zero emissions will establish another significant policy to protect New Jersey’s environment. A protection it greatly needs.

The American Lung Association’s 2020 State of the Air report showed that New Jersey continues to have some of the most polluted air in the nation.

Governor Murphy has already taken action to protect our environment by rejoining the Greenhouse Gas Initiative — known as “Reggie” — which puts a cap on a participating state’s carbon emissions from fossil fuels. DEP’s proposed Rules being heard today will further improve our environmental quality.

The proposed Rule to increase sales of electric vehicles will also help combat the disastrous effects in New Jersey, and on our planet, of climate change.

I fully support the new Rule and Rule amendments proposed by the Department of Environmental Protection. Thank you for protecting our health and the environment.