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State of Vermont

House of Representatives

Montpelier, Vermont

Joint House Resolution

J.R.H.  39

Joint resolution requesting Congress to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the authorization of a 90,000‑pound weight limitation for all vehicles with a minimum of five axles traveling on interstate highways in Vermont

Offered by:  Committee on Transportation

Whereas, greenhouse gas emissions’ impact on a changing Vermont climate and economic development are a growing concern, and

Whereas, operating vehicles on the interstate highways in Vermont, instead of on state and local highways, promotes greater efficiencies and an improved quality of life, and

Whereas, the largest Vermont-based source of greenhouse gas emissions is derived from motor vehicle exhaust systems, and emissions and congestion increase in towns and villages when trucks are forced to travel on local roads instead of along the state’s interstate highways, and

Whereas, in the surrounding New England states and the state of New York, commodity shippers are authorized to ship multiple goods on different segments of those states’ interstate highways in vehicles weighing up to 90,000 pounds, and

Whereas, in Vermont, however, with the exception of shipments of water and milk, the maximum shipping weight, without a special permit, is 80,000 pounds, and

Whereas, this lower weight threshold necessitates more large freight vehicles to transport goods and, consequently, increases the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere and places additional wear and tear on both the interstate highways’ system and Vermont’s state and local highways, and

Whereas, interstate highways’ are built to the highest safety standards of any roads in the United States and, as demonstrated in our neighboring states, can withstand the impact of 90,000-pound vehicles traveling along their surfaces, and

Whereas, it is not equitable that haulers shipping milk or water in vehicles having five or more axles are subject to a 90,000-pound weight limitation while shipments of other commodities in these identical vehicles must abide by a lower 80,000-pound limit in Vermont, and

Whereas, in addition to the reduction in greenhouse gases, and the decreased wear and tear on state and municipal highways, the raising of the 80,000‑pound weight-hauling limitation in Vermont to 90,000 pounds would also encourage increased trans-border commerce traveling to and from Canada through the state and mean additional revenue for Vermont’s businesses, and

Whereas, these vehicles are equipped with the necessary brake and suspension systems to transport safely weight loads equal to 90,000 pounds, and

Whereas, vehicles weighing in excess of 80,000 pounds can be operated on the interstate at the present time, but only with single-trip permits, issued by the department of motor vehicles, which are both expensive and time‑consuming to obtain, and

Whereas, the efficient shipment of commodities requires reliance on a balanced transportation system that includes rail, air, and an interstate highway system that is available for commodity shipments of up to 90,000 pounds, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly requests Congress to grant statutory authorization permitting a 90,000‑pound weight limitation for all commodities transported in truck tractors, semi‑trailer combinations, or truck‑trailer combinations having five or more axles and traveling on interstate highways in Vermont, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters and the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.




____________________________              Attested to:

Gaye R. Symington

Speaker of the House


____________________________              ____________________________

Brian E. Dubie                                             Donald G. Milne

President of the Senate                               Clerk, House of Representatives



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont