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Why the EPA shouldn't weaken or delay Clean Vehicle Standards
Kathy Attar, MPH
September 7, 2017
On September 6th, PSR and other health organizations testified before the EPA on the health threats of weakening or delaying vehicle emission standards. As transportation now emits more greenhouse gases than any other sector of our economy, a slower transition to cleaner cars will have significant consequences for U.S. carbon emissions. Weakening or delaying clean vehicle standards would condemn millions of U.S. residents to increased health threats due to climate change.
On August 10th 2017 EPA reopened a review of greenhouse gas standards for light-duty vehicles, which could lead to these standards being weakened.
Cleaner cars will also reduce harmful air pollutants emitted by fossil fuels. Such pollution contributes to an increased risk of death from cardiopulmonary disease and increases the risk of respiratory symptoms and disease.
Alternative vehicle technologies such as fuel cells, electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles can play a major role in reducing emissions of hazardous air pollutants.
Communities living in local pollution "hotspots," such as near freeways, face greater health impacts from air pollution: higher rates of asthma, heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and pre-term births. Recent research has added more health risks to the list, including childhood obesity, autism and dementia.
Children living in these hotspots are among those who most frequently land in the emergency room struggling to breathe and in need of treatment for asthma and other respiratory diseases. These families suffer an undue burden of illness simply because of where they live.
Decades of strict state and federal vehicle emissions standards have reduced tailpipe emissions, and air quality has improved but our communities need more protections not less. We need cleaner, healthier alternatives that can power and move our communities.
Go to regulations.gov and tell the EPA don't delay or weaken clean car standards.