Christine Cohen

State Senator

Christine Cohen

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Listening, Advocating & Getting Results

April 26, 2022

Sen. Cohen Helps Lead Passage of Connecticut Clean Air Act in Senate

HARTFORD – State Senator Cristine Cohen (D-Guilford), who is Senate Chair of the legislature’s Environment Committee, this evening helped lead Senate passage of Senate Bill 4, the “Connecticut Clean Air Act,” an overarching public policy designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and push Connecticut toward a greener and healthier future.

The transportation sector represents Connecticut’s single-largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, and Senate Bill 4 will support cleaner air, reduced pollution and bolster the state’s response to climate change. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for further debate.

“I’m incredibly proud of this bill,” Sen. Cohen said. “I’m also grateful for the hard work and collaboration with the Transportation Committee and my friend and colleague, Senator Will Haskell. Together we have worked diligently with other committees, agencies, advocates and even adversaries to land on a thoughtful and crucial piece of legislation that will move Connecticut forward to a place of better health, more sustainable transportation options and cleaner air.”

“Recent studies have shown that Connecticut is moving in the wrong direction when it comes to our air quality,” Sen. Cohen continued. “We have not been meeting our greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, and we have failed to comply with national standards for ozone. Now, with this bill we have the opportunity to leverage federal funds, to mitigate climate change, to help our businesses electrify their truck fleets, and to improve the air quality and health outcomes for all Connecticut residents.”

Among other things, Senate Bill 4:

  • Emphasizes Connecticut’s desire to shift to electric vehicles by requiring that by 2026, at least 50% of cars and light trucks purchased by the state will be alternative-fueled, hybrid electric, or plug-in electric vehicles, with that rate rising to 100% by 2030.
  • Ends the purchase or lease of any diesel-fueled transit bus, shifting to electric buses for public transportation in Connecticut beginning in 2024.
  • Installs electric vehicle charging stations across the state, with existing standards for installation being simplified.
  • Overhauls the CHEAPR electric vehicle rebate system, including increases to available rebate amounts, increases to the cap on vehicle prices eligible for rebates, increases to low-income electric vehicle rebates, and expansion of rebate eligibility to include business fleets and electric bicycles. Rebates and vouchers will be prioritized to residents in environmental justice communities, residents with household incomes at or below 300% of federal poverty levels, and residents participating in state and federal assistance programs.
  • Invests in a matching grant program to modernize municipal traffic signals to ensure it matches traffic flow, which can significantly reduce automobile emissions caused by stalled traffic and idling.
  • Adopts the medium- and heavy-duty motor vehicle standards already adopted by California, seeking to significantly reduce the emissions from vehicles responsible for some of the Connecticut’s highest rates of greenhouse gases.