Transportation & Climate Initiative jurisdictions release finished Model Rule and seek additional public feedback on plan to cut transportation pollution

June 10, 2021 – Responding to extensive input from stakeholders over the past two months, jurisdictions working to implement the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P) – Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia – in consultation with the other eight collaborating TCI states, today released a package of updates and new materials for public feedback.  

June 10 Public Webinar
TCI-P Materials


The package includes a finished Model Rule, which was revised after consideration of public input received since a draft was released on March 1, 2021. The Model Rule serves as a common framework that each participating jurisdiction will use to develop the regulations detailing compliance requirements for fuel suppliers within their respective jurisdictions. The Model Rule is designed to ensure that participating jurisdictions use consistent approaches to regulating and enforcing a declining cap on carbon emissions from transportation fuels covered under the multi-jurisdictional TCI Program.  

Since the release of the draft Model Rule, the TCI online input portal received more than 400 individual submissions, many representing the views of multiple stakeholder groups and companies. As part of the package of updates issued today, TCI-P juridictions released a Summary of Public Input and Responses, which includes input received, and the specific steps jurisdictions are taking in response.

In addition to recommendations for revisions to the finished Model Rule released today, much of the input received related to aspects of program implementation that should be responsive to the specific needs and preferences of the people and communities in each jurisdiction.  

Individuals and organizations are encouraged to review and provide feedback on the following new materials released in draft form today:  

  • Draft Framework for Public Engagement (Guiding Principles) – This document includes guiding principles for TCI-P jurisdictions to follow when conducting outreach and public engagement, with a particular focus on ensuring just and equitable outcomes. This includes emphasis on emission reductions and access to low-carbon transportation for communities that are overburdened by pollution and underserved by the transportation system.  
  • Draft TCI-P Model Implementation Plan  – The Model Implementation Plan (MIP) provides a common framework for jurisdictions to follow in developing their own Implementation Plans. Each TCI-P jurisdiction will develop an Implementation Plan that describes the various steps and processes it will pursue – including regulations and other legal mechanisms – to achieve the goals of the program. Each jurisdiction’s Implementation Plan will include a timeline and address the topics outlined in the MIP, in a manner that reflects the specific laws, regulations, and other unique circumstances and priorities of that jurisdiction.  
  • Draft Proposed Strategies for Regional Collaboration – Recognizing that achieving long-term reductions in pollution from transportation will require a combination of policy approaches, the draft  Proposed Strategies for Regional Collaboration document summarizes a range of additional policies and programs that current TCI-P signatory jurisdictions are proposing. These strategies would be implemented collaboratively to further reduce transportation emissions while also advancing other TCI-P goals, including direct benefits for overburdened and underserved communities.  

The TCI-P jurisdictions request that interested people and organizations provide input on the Model Implementation Plan and the other draft documents by August 13 through the online TCI-P Public Input Portal

Each participating jurisdiction will work collaboratively within its jurisdiction to release a draft Implementation Plan and allow ample time for public input and engagement before publishing a finished Implementation Plan.  

The Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) is an ongoing multi-jurisdictional collaboration of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, and Southeastern states and the District of Columbia that seeks to improve transportation, develop the clean energy economy and reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector. Collaborating TCI jurisdictions include Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.  

Background on TCI-P

TCI-P is a bipartisan effort to require large fuel suppliers to pay for the pollution they create. Fuel suppliers will purchase “allowances” for the pollution from the fuel they sell. Auctioning those allowances generates funding to invest in equitable, less polluting, and more resilient transportation options. 

Communities hit hardest by the impact of pollution will benefit from dedicated investments that could add up to billions of dollars by 2032. Equity Advisory Bodies, along with transparent processes and reporting, will further advance the program’s goals of equity and environmental justice. By addressing the significant harm caused by the transportation system to communities of color, Tribal communities and lower income communities, TCI-P has the potential to create a new system that is not just healthier and more resilient, but also more equitable. But that can only happen if the people disproportionately impacted by the transportation system are authentically and meaningfully engaged in shaping and implementing the program. 

Breathing in dirty air exacerbates lung and heart disease, causes asthma attacks, and increases the risk of a stroke, preterm births, premature death, and other serious health conditions. Air pollution is often concentrated in communities of color and has contributed to the unequal impacts of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases for people of color. Cutting pollution and investing in transportation alternatives will result in healthier communities – with those who’ve suffered the most from transportation-related pollution burdens seeing significant improvements. TCI-P, in conjunction with each jurisdiction's Equity Advisory Board, will give D.C. and participating states the freedom to invest in transportation improvements that most benefit their communities.  

TCI-P will: 

  • Create and continue a two-way dialogue with communities, including the establishment of Equity Advisory Bodies, to provide meaningful input in future decision-making processes.  
  • Invest a minimum of 35% of the proceeds -- nearly $100 million in the first year of the program -- for the benefit of overburdened and underserved communities. 
  • Ensure transparency through annual public reports and air quality monitoring.  
  • Advance goals of equity and environmental justice, individually, as a region, or through multi-jurisdiction commitments. 

TCI-P is part of a whole range of policies and initiatives working together to address climate change at all levels and sectors of government. Tackling transportation is essential to accomplishing our climate goals, so TCI-P plays a vital role in a comprehensive approach. TCI-P’s accomplishments at the District and state level are complemented both by other interrelated policies and programs in each jurisdiction, along with other multi-jurisdictional efforts, and federal policies, all with the goal of combating the climate crisis.  

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