DEP Commissioner Announces Multi-State Effort To Improve Air Quality And Create “Green” Jobs

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TRENTON — DEP Commissioner Bob Martin announced New Jersey is one of 11 states and the District of Columbia that has created the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), a regional group that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through transportation improvements and efficiencies.

The initiative also can benefit the state by lowering air pollution and growing a new state economy around electric vehicles and electric vehicle infrastructure.

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TCI includes top environment, energy and transportation officials from participating Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states who will work together to reduce greenhouse emissions, minimize transportation systems’ reliance on high-carbon fuels, promote sustainable growth and seek to reduce vehicle-miles traveled.

“Developing a regional strategy to bring down greenhouse gases is the right idea to help New Jersey,” said Martin. “We’ve identified that 30 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in this state are caused by transportation factors.”

“Addressing air pollution is vital to New Jersey,” added Martin. “We continuously exceed air quality standards in the state. We have problems with ozone, particulate matter and air toxics. While focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, this new initiative will go a long way towards helping solve these other air quality problems in New Jersey.”

Martin, state Board of Public Utilities President Lee Solomon and state Transportation Commissioner James Simpson on Tuesday signed a declaration of intent for New Jersey to participate in the regional undertaking to reduce greenhouse emissions caused by transportation factors.

Also joining this effort are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and the District of Columbia.

“By signing this agreement, New Jersey has shown it will continue to lead in the development of clean energy and efforts to reduce emissions from high-carbon fuels,” said Solomon, who encouraged other states to join in the partnership. “I am pleased to join Governor Christie, Commissioner Martin and Commissioner Simpson in representing New Jersey’s commitment to further clean energy and economic development initiatives.”

In addition to improving air quality, New Jersey could benefit economically from green transportation initiatives, said Martin. In particular, research and production of electric cars and electric vehicle infrastructure could be a boost to the state.

“New Jersey is a prime location for this industry since we are a major transportation hub,” Martin said.

The new regional initiative is expected to significantly benefit New Jersey and other participating states by helping maximize the impact of future transportation investments through regional planning, increased private and public sector innovation, and acceleration of the growth of clean energy jobs.

Additional goals of the collaborative effort include:

  • Reducing traffic congestion;
  • Encouraging job growth and accommodating the flow of goods and services;
  • Establishing state and local land use strategies that increase commercial and residential housing density and encourage transit-friendly design;
  • Improving the performance of existing highway, transit and other transportation modes while enhancing neighborhoods and urban centers; and
  • Promoting mixed-use development that supports viable alternatives to driving.

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