NJDEP’s Advanced Clean Truck and Fleet Reporting Rules Begin to Take Effect
On December 20, 2021, as part of its Protecting Against Climate Threats initiative, NJDEP announced that it had adopted the new Advanced Clean Truck and Fleet Reporting Rules (the ACT Rules) that were first proposed in April. The newly adopted rules incorporate a portion of California’s Advanced Clean Trucks regulation by reference, with a few minor modifications as well as a one-time reporting requirement for fleet owners, operators, brokers, and carriers.
The Advanced Clean Trucks regulations adopted in California in 2020 require manufacturers of on-road vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) above 8,500 lbs to meet increasing sales targets for Zero and Near-Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEVs and NZEVs). When a ZEV or NZEV is produced and sold to the ultimate purchaser, a credit is generated for the manufacturer. The credits may be banked for future use or traded, sold, or transferred between manufacturers. Manufacturers that have not met the annual sales targets for ZEVs and NZEVs may then use these credits to offset their annual sales deficit. This cap and trade program is designed to incentivize the sale of ZEVs and NZEVs, thereby reducing overall emissions from heavy duty trucks, which account for a disproportionate share of emissions from the transportation sector.
In NJDEP’s ACT Rules, the ZEV and NZEV sales targets and generation of deficits will apply to manufacturers of on-road vehicles above 8,500 pounds GVWR manufactured in model year 2025 and subsequent years for sale in New Jersey on or after January 1, 2025. However, manufacturers may begin generating, banking, and trading ZEV and NZEV credits beginning with model year 2022 vehicles. In addition, the Act Rules will not apply until California receives a waiver from EPA that would allow it to implement its Advanced Clean Trucks regulations in lieu of less stringent federal requirements pursuant to 43 USC §7543.
As noted above, the ACT Rules also establish a one-time reporting requirement designed to gather information about the operations of entities that own and/or use medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in NJ, so that NJDEP will be better informed if it takes future actions to accelerate the sale and use of ZEVs in the medium- and heavy-duty weight classes. The information to be reported includes general information about the entity as well as vehicle and usage information at the facility level. The rule contains five categories of entities that are required to report this information. Generally, any large entity with more than $50 million in revenue that operates one or more vehicles over 8,500 lbs Gross Vehicle Weight Rating in NJ, or any entity that operates a fleet of 50 or more vehicles over 8,500 lbs Gross Vehicle Weight Rating in NJ, will be required to report using an online portal.
The online reporting system is not yet available, and the report is not due until April 1, 2023. However, the report is designed to capture a “snapshot” of the entity’s fleet as it existed at any time in 2022. As such, entities covered by the fleet reporting aspect of the ACT Rules may wish to begin collecting information on their fleets or discussing arrangements with their service providers, subsidiaries, and corporate parents to understand exactly which vehicles are owned by whom and determine responsibility for reporting the required information.