Lung Association Applauds New Life-Saving Cleaner Gasoline, Vehicle Standards

CHICAGO (March 4, 2014)

The American Lung Association in Illinois applauds 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 residents of Illinois.

“Cars, light trucks, and SUVs are major sources of pollution in Illinois that can harm the health of our most vulnerable family members and neighbors,” said Mike Kolleng, Manager of the Healthy Air Campaign for the American Lung Association in Illinois. “Particularly at risk are those who suffer from asthma, lung and heart disease, as well as anyone who lives, works and goes to school near major roadways, like the Kennedy or Dan Ryan. We thank the Obama Administration and Environmental Protection Agency for putting these critical public health safeguards in place to protect communities across the nation.”

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. Cities, such as Chicago, which was ranked as the 16th-most polluted in the nation for short-term particle pollution in the American Lung Association’s most recent State of the Air report, will highly benefit from this important clean air protection.

Once fully implemented, the cleaner gasoline and vehicles standards will save up to 2,000 lives, and prevent 19,000 asthma attacks and 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. 

These 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 across the country, including here in Illinois, signed on to a letter to President Obama urging him to approve these standards to protect public health.  

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

About the American Lung Association in Illinois
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1 800 LUNG USA (1 800 586 4872) or visit www.lung.org.