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Heavy-Duty Trucking Legislation Preview

It’s never too early to turn your attention to the 2024 legislative session.

While the municipal election cycle — candidate interviews, canvassing, phone banking, and, of course, voting — has been top of my mind, the O₂ Utah team has also been prepping for the upcoming session.

All of our legislative work falls under the Prosperity 2030 umbrella — our framework to reduce emissions by 50% along the Wasatch Front by 2030 by addressing emissions from industrial point sources, homes and buildings, and transportation.

And after an exceedingly successful 2023 session that saw the passage of HB 220, we are eager to keep the momentum going.

HB 220 served as Phase 1 of Prosperity 2030, setting a standard on halogen emissions from point sources. The bill specifically targets US Magnesium's bromine pollution, which increases our winter-time pollution spikes up to 25%.

Looking ahead to 2024, let's take a ride through the transportation side of Prosperity 2030.

The problem: Vehicles produce about 39% of the Wasatch Front's annual pollution, including PM2.5 exhaust.

Within that number, heavy-duty diesel vehicles have an outsized impact. They produce more than 30% of the state's vehicle emissions but account for only 7.5% of the vehicle miles traveled.

Older vehicles, which heavy-duty trucks tend to be, have an even greater impact. For instance, a study involving a heavy-duty vehicle fleet discovered that although only 16% of the trucks were 13 years or older, these trucks were responsible for 50% of the fleet's nitrogen monoxide emissions.

Heavy-Duty Trucks by the Numbers:

  • 97,202 heavy-duty trucks registered in Utah in 2023

  • 80% run on diesel, 0.04% are electric

  • 40% are model year 2009 or older

O₂ Utah's policy plan is to help our lawmakers connect the dots between transportation sources and our poor air quality — and create a robust program to remove dirty vehicles from the roads.

You pay for how much you drive in the form of gasoline taxes but not for how much your vehicle pollutes. While Utah has made significant strides in addressing transportation emissions issues by implementing tier 3 fuels, there is still a long way to go.

Through the Inflation Reduction Act and other avenues, there is ample opportunity for the legislature to address this significant source of pollution. Surrounding states have measures in place, and it's time Utah does the same.

Regulating transportation emissions is a critical step in reaching our Prosperity 2030 goal. Like industrial point sources targeted in HB 220, vehicles should not have the right to dirty our air. Rather, Utahns should have the right to clean air, not the burden of identifying harmful emissions sources.

What can you do?

Contact Your Representatives

Now is a great time to reach out to your elected officials. Once the legislative session begins on January 16, they will have far less time on their hands. Your legislators are responsible for representing your interests and concerts, so let them know what you care about!

Make your email or phone call personal. Let me know why air quality is important to you, how Utah’s poor air affects you, and encourage them to support legislation to clean our air.


The general election for the municipal cycle is coming up on November 21. Make sure your voting information is updated, and check out our list of endorsed candidates.

Electoral involvement is critical as we fight for clean air and a healthy future. The relationships we build during campaigns, and the leaders we ultimately elect, lead to visionary policy and improved environmental outcomes in Utah.

Be sure you’re signed up for our email list to stay up to date on all legislative happenings and upcoming events.


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