Message from the Executive Director: Colorado Department of Transportation’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Planning Standards

Audrey DeBarros HeadshotLast month the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) announced bold new transportation pollution reduction planning standards to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.

The proposed standard is one of the several transportation strategies identified in the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap, which Gov. Jared Polis approved, and is a key requirement established in the 2021 state transportation funding bill, SB 260.

The standard will focus on transportation planning and is the step in the right direction.

Commuting Solutions applauds CDOT’s work and dedication to reducing GHG emissions from our state and region. We are proud that our local and regional leaders care about sustainable transportation as much as we do!

CDOT is collecting input to the proposed standard and will be holding a handful of meetings across the region including in Denver on Sept. 23 at the Swansea Recreation Center.

This is an important component of a plan that was approved to better our air quality and take sustainable actions for our state. I encourage you to read through the standard and comment on it.

We look forward to working with CDOT and our local leaders to ensure that transportation no longer plays an affect on climate change.

Cheers,

Audrey DeBarros, Executive Director

CDOT to Host Public Hearings for Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Standards Rulemaking

Last month, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) proposed new transportation pollution reduction planning standards which will reduce pollutions and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, improve air quality, reduce smog and provide more travel options.

The proposal will shape how state and local governments make plans for future projects to make sure there are more travel options and the infrastructures supports cleaner air.

According to CDOT, the draft standard would require CDOT and the state’s five Metropolitan Planning Organizations to determine the total pollution and GHG emission increase or decrease is expected from future transportation projects and take steps to ensure the GHG emissions do not exceed set reduction amounts.

The proposed standards build on the state’s efforts to expand electric vehicles as part of the state’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap, which Gov. Jared Polis approved.

CDOT is accepting written comments on the draft rule through Oct. 15. All written comments should be submitted to dot_rules@state.co.us before 5 p.m..

CDOT is also holding public hearings on the proposed ruling. On Sept. 23, a hearing is scheduled for Denver in the Swansea Recreation Center, to register visit CDOT online.

Gov. Jared Polis to sign Colorado Transportation Bill, 21-260

This post has been updated on June 18, 2021 to reflect Gov. Jared Polis signed the transportation bill on June 17. 

Gov. Jared Polis signed Senate Bill 21-260, a $5.3 billion transportation bill on Thursday morning, a 10-year plan to build out Colorado’s roads and bridges, create more electric vehicle charging stations,. boost mas transit and mitigate air pollution.

Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, Speaker Alec Garnett, Senator Faith Winter and Representative Matt Gray introduced the transportation bill, which will drive Colorado’s economic comeback, establish a sustainable funding source to improve roads, invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and expand multimodal and transit options to reduce congestion and improve air quality.

The package will take about $1.5 billion from the state operating budget over the next decade, but it will most rely on new changes including:

  • A road usage fee that would ratchet up annually over 10 years to maximum of 8 cents.
  • 3.5 cents per prearranged ride in a zero-emission vehicle and 7.5 cents for every other vehicle.
  • 6.9 cents for retail deliveries
  • 5.3 cents for each delivery to support a fund to transition government fleets to electric vehicles.
  • Raising the $50 registration fee for electric vehicles with an index that makes EVs equitable to what combustion vehicles pay.
  • Indexing the current $2 fee per day on vehicle rentals to inflation, exempting car-sharing programs.
  • Changing the Statewide Bridge Enterprise to the Statewide Bridge and Tunnel Enterprise, and authorizing its board to impose a fee on diesel and
    retail deliveries.

Fees will kick in starting July 1.

For the first two years, the proposal reduces vehicle registration fees. New fees won’t begin until mid-2022 and will be nominal, costing the average driver about $28 in the first year, and will be spread across all users using the system to bring down costs on people. The fees are estimated to raise $3.8 billion over the next decade.

The bill promotes collaboration between CDOT, the Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) and the Colorado Energy Office.

Over the course of the 11-year plan set forth by the bill, nearly $2.8 billion will be generated through new fee revenue and the bill will leverage nearly $1.5 billion in state general fund revenue and stimulus dollars.