On 30 December 2021, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced that emergency regulations were filed with the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office for the immediate adoption California’s Advanced Clean Trucks regulation (earlier post), which requires an increasing percentage of ZEV truck sales starting with Model Year 2025 and ramping up through Model Year 2035, accelerating the market for medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs.
Massachusetts law requires the Commonwealth to adopt California motor vehicle emissions standards as long as those standards achieve, in the aggregate, greater emissions reductions than federal standards. Massachusetts first adopted the California Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) program regulations in 1991 and has amended it many times to remain identical to the California LEV program. This latest amendment involves emission standards for Model Years 2025 and later medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and engines.
Emergency authorization of the regulation was needed as the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) requires states that adopt the California standards to do so at least two model years before the standards take effect—in this case, 1 January 2022 for vehicles labeled as Model Year 2025, which starts on 1 January 2024.
The filing began a three-month process towards making the emergency regulations permanent, which will include a public hearing on the amendment set for 1 February 2022, and a public comment period which ends on 11 February 2022.
The emergency regulations adopt the latest revisions to the California medium- and heavy-duty vehicle and engine regulations. Those revisions include: the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Phase 2 Standards for Model Year 2025; the Heavy-Duty Omnibus Regulation, which contains a comprehensive set of emission standards and other emission-related requirements for heavy-duty vehicles and engines; and the Advanced Clean Trucks Regulation, resulting in ZEV sales starting in Model Year 2025 and ramping up through Model Year 2035, accelerating the market for medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs.
MassDEP officials participated in a series of meetings on these rulemakings with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and joined CARB, the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management and other organizations to develop the new regulations. MassDEP also held two public stakeholder meetings in April 2021 to share information on these regulatory efforts and to solicit stakeholder feedback.