American Lung Association in Maine Applauds New Life-Saving Cleaner Gasoline and Vehicle Standards

New standards will reduce both tailpipe pollution and sulfur content in gasoline

AUGUSTA, ME (March 3, 2014)

Today the American Lung Association in Maine applauded the Obama Administration for issuing the final cleaner gasoline and vehicle standards, also known as the Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emissions and Fuel Standards. By significantly reducing tailpipe pollution from motor vehicles, as well as sulfur content in gasoline, the national standards will result in cleaner air and improved public health for Maine people and all Americans.

“Cars, light trucks, and SUVs are major sources of pollution in Maine,” said Effie Craven, Maine Healthy Air Campaign Coordinator for the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “Particularly at risk are those who suffer from asthma, lung and heart disease, as well as anyone who lives, works or goes to school near major roadways.  In Maine there are more than 22,000 children and 92,000 adults with asthma and other lung diseases who may require expensive medical care on unhealthy air days.” 

Lower sulfur gasoline immediately cleans up every car on the road because their pollution control systems will work more efficiently.  Lower sulfur gasoline will reduce as much pollution from the current national vehicle fleet as taking 33 million cars off the road.

Once fully implemented, the cleaner gasoline and vehicles standards will save up to 2,000 lives, prevent 19,000 asthma attacks and avert more than 300,000 missed days of work and school each year by 2030. As the Lung Association reported last year, independent economists estimate we could achieve these benefits for less than one cent per gallon of gasoline.

“Traffic exhaust produces harmful air pollutants including nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds that form ozone pollution and particle pollution,” added Craven.  “We thank the Obama Administration and Environmental Protection Agency for putting these critical public health safeguards in place so we can reduce these pollutants and everyone in Maine can breathe healthier air.”

The Tier 3 standards have received support from a wide range of voices, including automakers, consumer groups and the medical community.  Most recently, nearly 500 doctors, nurses and other health professionals from Maine and across the country signed on to a letter to President Obama urging him to approve these standards to protect public health. Last summer the Lung Association interviewed pedestrians in Portland and produced a short video in support of the standards.

With today’s signing of the standards, the cleaner gasoline and cleaner vehicles will be ready in 2017. 

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The Maine Healthy Air Coalition is a group of more than 60 statewide and local health care and public health organizations who are concerned about Maine’s air quality and its health and economic impacts.

About the American Lung Association of the Northeast
The American Lung Association of the Northeast serves CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI and VT. We are part of the American Lung Association, the oldest voluntary health organization in the U.S. Established in 1904 to combat tuberculosis; our mission today is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. The focus is on air quality, asthma, tobacco control, and all lung disease.