Connecticut targets trucks with new emissions requirements

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Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, July 27, 2022:

Connecticut enacts new emissions law targeting trucks

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont last week announced the enactment of Public Act 22-25, a new law that includes a number of actions that will help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector.

Among the measures the law contains, it authorizes the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to adopt more stringent emissions standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. It also makes various statutory changes under the Connecticut Clean Air Act, expands existing programs, and establishes several new programs concerning electric vehicle use and improving air quality.

The bill’s provisions include, among other things:

  • Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Standards -- Authorizes the DEEP commissioner to adopt regulations implementing California’s medium- and heavy-duty motor vehicle standards, which the state says will ensure that manufacturers are producing cleaner vehicles and offering them for sale in Connecticut, giving prospective consumers more options while reducing a major source of in-state air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Medium- and Heavy-Duty Truck Vouchers -- Allows DEEP to establish a voucher program to support the use of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles
  • Traffic Signal Grant Program -- Requires the Connecticut Department of Transportation to establish a matching grant program to help municipalities modernize existing traffic signal equipment

“This is a transformational time in transportation, and the CTDOT is ready to meet the moment by investing in cleaner, greener transportation, building out electric vehicle infrastructure, and advancing safety and mobility projects around the state,” said CTDOT Commissioner Joe Giulietti.

Female driver workforce grows to over 13%, according to Women in Trucking

The percentage of professional truck drivers who are female has increased to 13.7% in 2022, an increase of more than 3% since 2019. This is according to new data highlighted in the WIT index, which was recently released by the Women in Trucking Association (WIT).

At a time when the industry is significantly struggling to recruit and retain an adequate number of professional drivers, this is good news. The number of women obtaining their CDLs and becoming professional drivers has continued to grow in recent years.

According to the 2019 WIT Index, women made up more than 10% of over-the-road truck drivers, an increase of almost 30% over the 7.89% seen in the WIT Index in 2018. The increase came after an industry-wide push to hire more women drivers in response to the capacity crunch in 2018.

“We believe that you can’t change what you can’t measure, so we have initiated the WIT Index to monitor the growth of women’s involvement in transportation careers over the years,” said Ellen Voie, president and CEO of WIT. â€śThe double-digit data regarding female drivers is encouraging as we move toward a more gender-diverse driving force. We anticipate these numbers to continue to increase in the coming years."

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In addition to making up 13.7% of the driver workforce, WIT also found that women make up 33.8% of C-Suite executives, 39.6% of company leaders, 31% of boards of directors, 74.9% of HR/talent management, 3.7% of technician roles, 44.7% of dispatchers and 40% of safety roles.

Voie spearheaded the launch of the first WIT Index in 2016. The WIT Index is the official industry barometer to regularly benchmark and measure the percentage of women who are professional drivers, in corporate positions, and serve on boards of directors.

Initiated in 2016, the index is comprised of average percentages of females in various roles that are reported by companies in transportation, including predominantly for-hire trucking companies, private fleets, transportation intermediaries, railroads, ocean carriers, equipment manufacturers, and technology companies. This data was confidentially gathered from January through April of 2022 from 180 participating companies and percentages are reported only as aggregate totals of respondents. 

The full report can be found here.

Xtra Lease relocates Indianapolis facility

Xtra Lease has moved its Indianapolis operations to a brand-new facility on the west side of the city at 10484 East County Road 300 North, Indianapolis, IN, 46234, and is now open for business.

The company offers a mix of semi-trailers for rent and lease, including dry vans, reefers, flatbeds, storage trailers and specialty equipment. 

“We’re excited because the new facility positions us better to support the needs of our local customers,” said Mark Backman, Midwest Regional Vice President for XTRA Lease. “We’re conveniently located off Interstate 74, which is closer to fast-growing logistics operations located in such areas as Plainfield, Whitestown and Lebanon, Indiana.”

In addition to providing trailer rental and lease services, the new branch has a full-service maintenance shop.   

Xtra Lease Indianapolis is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.