SENATE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

SENATE, No. 3029

 

with committee amendments

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED:  MAY 1, 2017

 

      The Senate Environment Committee favorably reports Senate Bill No. 3029 with committee amendments.

      This bill, as amended, directs the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to establish and fund with moneys from the "Volkswagen Settlement Utilization Fund for Motor Vehicle Emissions Reduction and Air Pollution Control,” established in the bill, solely for programs to:

      1) promote zero emission vehicle use and develop and build charging or filling infrastructure to support such use, including, but not limited to, educating the public on the importance and availability of zero emission vehicles and their use and subsidizing the installation of public and private charging or filling stations;

      2) reduce diesel emissions at the ports of Elizabeth and Newark, the ports in the South Jersey Port District, and other ports in southern New Jersey, by repowering or replacement of diesel-powered vehicles or cargo handling equipment operating in those port regions through the issuance of grants, loans, or a combination thereof, for (a) acquisition of advanced maritime emissions control system pollution control equipment at the ports, (b) incentives for the repowering or replacement of pre-2007 model year heavy duty diesel trucks delivering and picking up containers at the ports, and (c) upgrades, repowering, or replacement of cargo handling equipment, including but not limited to cranes, at the ports to zero emission vehicles and equipment; and (d) any other measures to reduce diesel emissions at the port regions; and

      3) otherwise reduce air pollution from motor vehicle emissions.

      The bill also directs the "Volkswagen Settlement Utilization Fund for Motor Vehicle Emissions Reduction and Air Pollution Control” to be credited with any moneys received by the State from any settlement between the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Volkswagen of America, Inc. or any other appropriate division of the Volkswagen company operating worldwide.  Finally, the bill requires that 15 percent of the monies received by the State from the settlement must be used for costs directly connected to the acquisition, installation, operation, and maintenance of infrastructure for charging or filling stations for zero emission vehicles that are cars or light duty trucks.

      The committee amendments:

      (1)  broaden the language in the bill to authorize the use of the settlement monies for programs to promote zero emission vehicle use and the development of zero emission vehicle infrastructure rather than only for electric vehicle use and infrastructure;

      (2)  require that 15 percent of the settlement monies be used for costs directly connected to the acquisition, installation, operation, and maintenance of infrastructure for charging or filling stations for zero emission vehicles that are cars or light duty trucks;

      (3)  eliminate the requirement for a memorandum of agreement between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the DEP for programs to reduce diesel emissions at the ports of Elizabeth and Newark;

      (4) authorize the monies to be used for grant and loans or a combination thereof to reduce diesel emissions at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the South Jersey Port Corporation, other ports in southern New Jersey, or port operators operating in those port regions, to acquire advanced maritime emissions control equipment, for incentives to repower or replace certain diesel-powered vehicles, or to upgrade, repower, or replace cargo handling equipment, including cranes, to zero emission vehicles and equipment at the ports, or for any other measures to reduce diesel emissions; and

      (5)  make technical and clarifying amendments to the bill.