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WFAE reporter David Boraks explores how the way we live influences climate change and its impact across the Carolinas. You also can read additional national and international climate news.

How should NC shift to electric trucks? DEQ wants to know

122322 Trucks on I-77.JPG
David Boraks
Gov. Cooper has called for rules and sales targets to spur adoption of electric vehicles, to replace gas-burning heavy trucks that contribute to global warming.

Public meetings are planned around the state in the coming weeks to help state environmental officials draft rules to promote a shift to electric trucks.

An online information session is planned Jan. 9, followed by public meetings in Charlotte, Burlington and Pembroke. An online input session is planned Feb. 1 and a final online meeting will be Feb. 21.

The online and in-person meetings follow Gov. Roy Cooper's Executive Order 271 in October that calls for adoption of an Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) program to fight climate change. Transportation is the largest source of carbon emissions in the state, and the governor's office says getting more commercial electric vehicles on the road also will improve public health.

Department of Environmental Quality officials will gather information at the meetings to help draft rules that would be presented to the state Environmental Management Commission in May.

Officials have said the ACT rules would set sales targets to encourage truck and bus makers to increase sales of electric vehicles in the coming decades. Two years ago, Cooper signed a multi-state agreement that calls for electric trucks and buses to reach 30% of vehicle sales by 2030 and 100% by 2050.

"By reducing vehicle emissions that impact all North Carolinians — especially low-income communities and communities of color — ACT will encourage economic development and job growth, maximize consumer choice for small businesses, and advance the state’s climate and environmental justice objectives," the DEQ said in announcing the meetings.

Here's the schedule:

Comments also may be emailed daq.publiccomments@ncdenr.gov with the subject line “Advanced Clean Trucks.” Deadline is Feb. 24, 2023.

More at DEQ.NC.gov/ACT.

Updated: January 6, 2023 at 2:47 PM EST
This story has been updated to include a new online input session on Feb. 1 added by DEQ.
David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.