Rhode Island's Heavy Duty Trucks Undergo Little to No Emissions Testing

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Heavy-duty trucks are essential for keeping stores stocked and ensuring that deliveries are made on time. However, they are also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.
21 years ago, Rhode Island passed a law to regulate emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. According to ecoRI, though, a program to monitor emissions has not yet been made.
A semi-truck driving down the highway
Semi-truck usually have pretty strict emissions regulations

Emissions are harmful to humans and the environment

When fossil fuels are burned, they produce carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other gases. These gas emissions are responsible for climate change, which is why there’s a push for electric vehicles.
Greenhouse gas emissions can also be harmful to the health of those around them. Excessive exposure to emissions can lead to respiratory and cardiovascular issues. This especially affects lower-income areas that are often located closer to roads heavy-duty trucks travel.
Every gas-powered vehicle contributes to the overall greenhouse gas emissions. Though heavy-duty vehicles are disproportionately responsible for these emissions. Even though they make up a small percentage of vehicles on the road, they produce 20% of the overall emissions.

Emission standards in Rhode Island

Rhode Island has had an emission regulation law for more than two decades but has not taken action to prevent them. This can be seen in the lack of enforcement in the state’s vehicle inspection laws.
Small vehicles like sedans in the state of Rhode Island are required to undergo inspections every two years. The inspection costs the car owner $55 and checks both the safety and emissions of the vehicle.
However, heavy-duty vehicles are not tested for emissions. Instead, they are given an annual safety inspection for $15. Representatives of the state Department of Motor Vehicles have stated that there are plans to implement emissions tests in the future, though.

Rhode Island’s transition to electric vehicles

While testing for emissions can help keep greenhouse gas levels lower, the long-term solution is to completely phase out heavy-duty fuel usage. Rhode Island has a goal of switching to electric vehicles to help combat climate change.
There is currently no concrete plan in place yet to transition heavy-duty vehicles in Rhode Island to electric vehicles. However, major organizations have committed to switching to electric. This has demonstrated that, even though it’ll take time, it’s possible to shift away from gas.
In Rhode Island, the issue is focused on the emissions produced by heavy-duty trucks and other larger vehicles. Technology is improving for electric vehicles of all sizes, which means that they can drive farther on a single charge, and more chargers are being built across the country.
Heavy-duty vehicles in Rhode Island could be seeing changes in the near future. The state may implement more thorough testing to monitor emissions from fuel-burning trucks, and eventually, they may begin the transition to electric fleets.
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