Health Professionals: Strong Clean Cars Standards
Are you a health or medical professional? Please sign this health professionals' letter calling for strong clean car standards to protect public health from air pollution and climate change. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration need to hear from you that weakening these standards will harm patients and communities.
Dear EPA Administrator Pruitt and NHTSA Acting Deputy Administrator Danielson:
As health and medical professionals from communities across the United States, we write to support implementation of strong state and federal advanced clean car regulations to protect public health from motor vehicle pollution. Motor vehicles remain a major source of air pollution that can lead to illness and premature death, and the transportation sector is the largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. Adopting and enforcing America’s existing, health-protective motor vehicle emissions standards is vital. Weakening these vehicle emission standards is out of step with the need to protect public health.
Today, millions of Americans are exposed to unhealthy air in their communities, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) own records. Despite great progress under the Clean Air Act, reducing air pollution is becoming more difficult due to climate change impacts that degrade air quality, such as extreme heat, drought, and wildfires. Furthermore, the evidence clearly shows that climate change poses multiple, profound risks that imperil the lives and health of millions of people living in the United States now and into the future. Our nation’s leaders must do more, not less, to protect American families from this emerging public health crisis.
As health professionals, we know the importance of preventing harm before it occurs, which is why we support strong implementation of existing federal EPA vehicle emission standards for 2021 to 2025, along with California’s 2025 Advanced Clean Cars and Zero Emission Vehicle program authorized under the Clean Air Act. We also urge the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to adopt fuel efficiency standards that are at least as strong as those considered in their 2012 analysis. Together, these programs can deliver health benefits to all Americans by setting the bar for curbing emissions of ozone-forming pollution, limiting deadly particles, and controlling climate pollution through reduction in vehicle emissions and the adoption of zero emission technologies.
We offer the following recommendations in support of maintaining the strongest possible standards to defend public health against pollution burdens and the impacts of climate change in the United States:
- Federal and state agencies must implement current clean car standards to protect public health. Current EPA and California emission standards will deliver meaningful climate and public health benefits by 2025 and must not be weakened. NHTSA must adopt strong fuel efficiency standards to ensure the best protections going forward. We urge federal and state agencies to ensure the strong implementation of these existing and needed rules in a coordinated manner in the best interests of public health, clean air and a healthy climate.
- Federal and state agencies should work together to develop post-2025 clean car and zero emission technology standards. In the interest of defending American families against the worst impacts of climate change and vehicle pollution, we urge EPA, NHTSA and the state of California to work together to establish robust vehicle emission standards beyond 2025.
- California’s authority under the Clean Air Act to establish more health-protective motor vehicle pollution standards must be maintained, along with other states’ authority to follow California standards. California’s vehicle program is a clean air success story that has advanced clean technologies in the United States and around the world. California standards continue to bring real clean air benefits not only to California residents, but to all Americans. Clean Air Act authority held by other states to adopt California standards to maximize pollution reductions must also be preserved now and in the future.
On behalf of our patients and the communities we serve across the nation, we support strong federal and state vehicle standards that ensure all people are protected to the greatest extent possible from the serious health burdens of vehicle pollution.
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