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Air Quality and Climate

MDOT is committed to improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Maryland through innovative transportation policies and investments in clean and zero emission technologies, such as:

  • increasing clean travel choices for Maryland residents
  • supporting the adoption of cleaner vehicles and fuels
  • enhancing travel efficiency
  • reducing congestion, and
  • spurring technical innovation.

Even as the state has experienced growth in population and an expanding economy, Maryland has significantly decreased its motor vehicle emissions since 2002.  To build and expand on this success, MDOT is developing and implementing various programs and initiatives.

Electric Vehicles Initiatives

MDOT is working diligently to reduce vehicle emissions in Maryland. With this in mind, MDOT works closely with other State Agencies, in particular the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), to implement programs that promote the use of electric and zero emission vehicles in Maryland.  A few examples include:
 

  • Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council (EVIC) – MDOT chairs and staffs EVIC.  The Council is comprised of a diverse representation of interests, perspectives, and responsibilities, including utilities, State Agencies, private enterprise, and non-profit EV advocates.  Since 2011, EVIC has worked to remove barriers to Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEV) usage in Maryland. EVIC develops infrastructure action plans, permitting standards, and state incentives for the purchase of PEVs and Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE).
  • Designation of EV Charging Corridors – MDOT led the effort to nominate Alternative Fuel / EV charging corridors under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.  The nomination was made in conjunction with MEA and MDE and was supported by more than 15 additional agencies and organizations.  MDOT was notified by the US Department of Transportation in November of 2016 that all the nominated corridors (I-95, US 50, I-270, and I-70 / I-68) had received designation.  These corridors represent a critical cross section of our State and provide valuable regional and national linkages for freight and passenger travel.  The EV Charging Corridor designations will assist Maryland as we continue working toward establishing a reliable and accessible Statewide EVSE network.

Map Illustrating Density of Electric Vehicles

 

These, and other associated programs, have helped put over 9,000 plug-in electric vehicles and 1,130 charging outlets on the road across Maryland, reducing airborne pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions.

    

 

Other Emission Reduction Efforts

Transportation related emissions have significantly decreased in recent years. In fact, between 2002 and 2011, emissions of pollutants that can lead to ozone have decreased by up to 45%, while sulfur dioxide, which can negatively impact breathing, has dropped by 87%. These reductions in air pollution occurred in part due to tighter motor vehicle emissions standards and other Maryland emissions programs and are illustrated in the MDOT / MDE joint document Charting the Path Forward: A Transportation Strategy for Meeting Long-term Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Goals and Enhancing Maryland’s Economy and Quality of Life.

While this is a great start, MDOT is committed to continuing the reduction of transportation related air pollution. To further their impactful initiatives, MDOT has implemented several highly successful programs and partnerships, including Clean Air Partners, a nonprofit partnership that strives to improve public health and the environment by working with businesses, organizations, and individuals to raise awareness and reduce air pollution through voluntary actions.  In partnership with MDE, the Port of Baltimore and MDOT have invested more than $1 million of grant funds in clean diesel projects at the Port of Baltimore, with an additional $900,000 work of new diesel projects in the works.

 


MDOT Air Quality and Climate Publications